Modi writes to Pakistan PM, offers help for flood victims in PoK

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who reviewed the flood situation in Jammu and Kashmir during his day-long visit on Sunday, wrote to his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif and offered assistance to victims of the devastation caused by the torrential rains and floods in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Last Updated: Sep 08, 2014, 00:54 AM IST

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who reviewed the flood situation in Jammu and Kashmir during his day-long visit on Sunday, wrote to his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif and offered assistance to victims of the devastation caused by the torrential rains and floods in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

He said that he was told that the damage to life and property was equally, if not more, severe in areas across the Line of Control (LoC).

"My heart goes out to the affected people and my deepest sympathies are with them and their families. In this hour of need, I offer any assistance that you may need in the relief efforts that will be undertaken by the Government of Pakistan. Our resources are at your disposal wherever you need them," said the letter which was delivered by the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad, as per PTI.

Saying it a was "matter of great distress" Modi noted that the "devastation caused by the record rains and the consequent flooding is unprecedented", the External Affairs Ministry spokesperson said in New Delhi.

Modi said like in Jammu and Kashmir, the people in PoK region too were bearing losses due to the floods. This is a humanitarian work and India will never be behind in doing such work, he said.

On the Pakistani side covering also the Punjab province, the toll is reported to have shot up to 160.

On the other hand, Modi today declared the flood situation in Kashmir as a national-level disaster and announced a thousand crore Rupees aid for the state.

While the situation was starting to ease in Jammu, large areas in Kashmir were enveloped in flood waters following incessant rains since Wednesday. The state government has ordered closure of all schools till September 12.

Stepping up relief efforts as the weather showed some signs of improvement, the army has deployed 184 columns (75-100 personnel each) while IAF has pressed 29 planes and helicopters into service, set up a disaster monitoring cell and alerted all its bases to a high state of readiness.

Over 13,000 people have been rescued from various areas by Army and IAF. But many people were trapped and awaiting help in upper stories of buildings in low-lying areas, including in Srinagar and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah assured them that help will reach soon.

With PTI inputs