Gilani defends accepting aid from India

Last Updated: Saturday, August 21, 2010 - 23:23

Lahore: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani
on Saturday defended the Pakistan government`s decision to accept
aid for flood victims from India, saying those opposed to the
move should give reasons for their stance.

"I would like to ask the critics of Indian aid on
what ground we should refuse it. It will be a narrow approach
if we refuse aid from India," Gilani said while talking to
reporters at his residence here.

Pakistan yesterday accepted India`s offer to provide
USD 5 million for the millions of victims of the
devastating floods that have swept the country.

The move has been criticised by some politicians, who
linked the matter to the ongoing protests in Jammu and
Kashmir.

However, Gilani said: "Would it not be a contrast if
we refused the aid? On the one hand, we are stressing on the
resumption of dialogue with India and on the other, we refuse
its aid.

We should come out of this approach and give a strong
image to Pakistan."

He said he was chairing a high-level meeting when
he was informed about India?s offer to provide aid.

"I told my Foreign Minister to thank his Indian
counterpart for the aid," he said. Gilani noted that both
Pakistanis and Indians had collected funds for the
flood-affected people.

Pakistan has received a tremendous response from the
world community in response to its call for aid for the flood
victims and the government has proposed an independent council
to oversee the transparent spending of funds, he said.

"The international community trusted us and that is
why such huge aid is pouring in," he said.

Replying to a question, he said a stable
Afghanistan is in the best interest of Pakistan.

"We want a stable Afghanistan. We are part of the
problem (over there) but also a part of the solution," he
said.

Gilani made it clear that Pakistan does "not
interfere in Afghanistan`s internal matters."

PTI



First Published: Saturday, August 21, 2010 - 23:23

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