A BRAVE pensioner has told of his experiences distributing aid in flood-ravaged Pakistan.
Chaudhry Mohammad Tariq, of Mount Pellon Avenue, Halifax, spent weeks collecting money, food, clothes and water through the Islamic Relief Mission, based at Trinity Place, Halifax.
Mr Tariq, then 69, took himself to see some of the 20 million people who were affected by the floods, which ravaged the country in July last year.
In September the charity sent more than 2,500kg of aid from Manchester Airport.
“These people had nothing left. The flood took everything. Only the mud and the bricks were left and the people stood with it. “They have nothing,” said Mr Tariq.
He visited five regions – Nowshera, Charsadda, Mianwali, Kalabagh and Sawat. Working with the Global Welfare Organisation, his trip included a trip to Kalam, an area which was, until recently, under Taleban control.
Along with other volunteers, he was taken into the dangerous area by the American military on Chinook helicopters.
Mr Tariq, who has worked for the mission for more than 40 years.
“This was the second most dangerous place I’ve been,” he said.
“It was very hard work,” said Mr Tariq, now 70. “This was the first trip where I haven’t stopped.”
As well as giving out food parcels, he handed out cash of between 1,000 to 30,000 rupees - a total of £23,970 - to people he met.
The aid helped more than 500 people.
One memory he said he will never forget were three children - all under 11 - who had been orphaned and were living alone.
“Their parents had gone and they had no food or money. They were living on their own. There’s no work for people, no buildings, no shops. They’ve no money to buy food. It was very shocking to me,” he said.
“The people were very thankful to the British people and particularly those in Halifax and our organisation.
“People were very generous. I am very grateful to them,” said Mr Tariq. “But they need more help.”
He is now trying to collect enough aid to fill a 40ft container to send to Pakistan. St Augustine’s Primary School on Hanson Lane, Halifax, have already donated boxes of food and supplies.
To donate, call Mr Tariq on 07798 704427.
The Courier previously reported how 200 aid boxes from Halifax, which had been delayed in transit for four months, have now been flown to Pakistan.
l Are you fund-raising for Pakistan flood victims? Email firstname.lastname@example.org