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Restoring Family Links in Pakistan - a humanitarian worker's perspective

The human perspective and experiences of restoring family links rarely fails to be touching and meaningful, as shown through Abdul Wali's testimony from the ICRC delegation in Pakistan.

Abdul Wali assisting a beneficiary with a skype call to his
loved ones
© ICRC Pakistan

I have been working with the ICRC Delegation in Pakistan since 1988 while serving in different positions. Currently, I work on the Restoring Family Links programme.

I feel the importance of my work during times when a family is informed that a lost relative has been found; and when a mother talks to her son on a Skype call or meets him in a jail located in Afghanistan. Visiting interns in jails and bringing their Red Cross messages (RCM) back to their families are other types of service provided. We consider these activities as our best achievements.

I really feel emotional when people find their relatives after many years. I can relate to the pain these families go through and it is difficult to explain. When a family is in grief, waiting to hear about their loved ones languishing in prisons or stuck in another country, we feel the same pain. We also get appreciated by those we assist.

Recently, when some Pakistani citizens were released by the Afghanistan authorities, a mother of one released detainee came to our department to talk to her son via Skype. However, her son did not show up whereas another detainee came and told the mother that her son has been released from the jail and he was on his way to Peshawar. The mother was so surprised, she fainted. Once she regained consciousness, she rushed home to see her son.

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