Musharraf warns against NGOs skimming Pakistan flood money

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Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf said people who donated money towards the country's flood relief effort should make sure aid organisations were not creaming off some of the funds.

The retired army general said non-governmental organisations (NGOs) had to ensure that all the money should go to help victims.

Musharraf, who lives in exile in London, is trying to raise money towards flood relief.

"I think they are the worst floods in Pakistan's history," he told BBC radio on Friday.

"I have been a part of flood relief, physically, since the time I was in the army.

"Every five years we have floods in Pakistan of a certain magnitude. But never like this... It's very serious."

Musharraf was asked about fears that donated money might end up getting lost in corruption.

"There is corruption in Pakistan, there is no doubt about it, it is heartbreaking how people are not bothered about the country. They have a lot of money and yet they are corrupt," he said.

"The advice I would like to give is they ought to be careful on who they are giving the money to.

"One thing that I would like to advise when you give your money, a donor or an organisation getting the money, it's good that they show so many hundred thousand dollars collected but we should ask how much is going to the people?

"What is their overheads, what percentage will they deliver to the people? Because I know many NGOs who skim off about 50 percent on overheads and administration costs. That must not be done."

Musharraf said he was intending to form a new party and return to Pakistan before the 2013 general elections to stand for parliament.

"My attention or my involvement is divided. It is relief effort I am talking of. I am going for a telethon the day after tomorrow (Sunday)," he said.

"My focus is here but at the same time I'm launching a political party in the very near future.

"I will go back before the next elections. That's not tied really to the flood situation."

© 2010 AFP

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