US seeking to reclaim image through flood-relief aid in Pakistan: Holbrooke

Written by: Nairita Das
Subscribe to Oneindia News

Washington, Aug 15(ANI): US Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard C. Holbrooke, has admitted that the Obama administration is seeking to use the continuous aid package for flood-stricken Pakistan to burnish its dismal image in the country.

"If we do the right thing, it will be good not only for the people whose lives we save, but for the U.S. image in Pakistan," The New York Times quoted Holbrooke, as saying.

"The people of Pakistan will see that when the crisis hits, it's not the Chinese. It's not the Iranians. It's not other countries. It's not the E.U. It's the U.S. that always leads," he added.

According to a survey conducted last month by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, 68 percent of Pakistanis have an unfavorable view of the US.

The survey also suggested that Pakistanis have next to no confidence in US President Barack Obama, as his favorability rating was just eight per cent.

Meanwhile, American officials hope that images of Navy and Marine Corps helicopters ferrying supplies and plucking people from rain-swollen rivers will at least begin to counteract the bad will generated by US drone strikes against militants in Pakistan.

"This is a country where we have an enormous interest in their going after the Taliban and other extremist jihadi groups," said Mark L. Schneider, a senior vice president at the International Crisis Group, a nonprofit organization that focuses on conflict resolution.

"If this kind of activity supports the Pakistani government and people supporting the Pakistani government, it's all to the good," he added.

The US has already pledged 76 million dollars as initial humanitarian assistance for the flood-affected country.

Apart from the money, the US has so far sent hundreds of marines, 33 helicopters and 18 boats to support its rescue and relief efforts.

A US Embassy Spokesman in Islamabad confirmed that all the US troops and assets were put at the disposal of the Pakistani Armed Forces to tackle the unprecedented disaster.

"Our response has been consistent with our humanitarian values and our deep commitment to Pakistan," the spokesman said. (ANI)

Please Wait while comments are loading...