Islamabad: A final decision by Pakistan on India’s USD 5 million assistance offer for disaster relief efforts in the flood-stricken country would be possible only after gauging the response from the rest of the world, Pakistan Foreign Office officials sources have said.
The consideration comes in the background of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s visit and an announcement by the government to form a commission to oversee local and international assistance, The Daily Times reports.
Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna had made the offer in a telephonic conversation with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
Krishna described the offer as a “gesture of solidarity with the people of Pakistan in their hour of need”, a statement issued by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad had said.
A statement by the Pakistan Foreign Office did not mention the Indian aid offer, but sources indicated that it was being considered.
“We have not rejected the offer outright and a decision would be made soon,” a senior official had said.
Over 1,600 people have been killed and 15 million affected as raging floodwaters continue to wreak havoc in the country.
In addition to causing major human loses, it has destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes, washed away crops and livestock.
Relief and rescue work has been hit badly by continuous rains, particularly in the north western region.
The United Nations says that Pakistan will need billions of dollars to recover from the deluge, which is being described as the worst in the last 80 years.
First Published: Monday, August 16, 2010, 11:50