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Rediff.com  » News » Pakistan welcomes relief assistance from India

Pakistan welcomes relief assistance from India

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October 11, 2005 11:36 IST

Pakistan has welcomed the Indian offer of emergency relief supplies for quake victims, saying there was no bar on taking help from New Delhi.

"India's request has come and there is no bar on taking assistance from India and, therefore, we welcome the assistance," Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said on Monday night after India announced that it would be sending the first consignment of relief supplies.

Aziz said Pakistan has so far received financial assistance to the tune of 100 million dollars from various countries and appealed for more aid.

"The 100 dollars amount is in addition to the relief goods and medicines being sent by them and the rescue teams," he said.

He said 35 helicopters have been pressed into operation to supply relief goods to the affected areas. "Eight American helicopters have also arrived and they would be joining the fleet from Tuesday," he said.

Appealing for more international assistance, Aziz said Pakistan needs financial help, tents, blankets, medicines and plants and equipment to clear roads and rubble.

He said five base camps are being set up in major locations in earthquake-hit areas to increase the capacity to get relief to the affected peoples. "Supplies coming from abroad and donations gathered from home would be sent to these camps for onward distribution to different areas through helicopters," he said.

The roads link for Muzaffarabad, Islamabad and Balakot has been cleared and relief operations has picked up, he said, adding cities damaged by the earthquake would be re-planned on modern lines making them earthquake-proof.

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