'No decision on accepting Indian aid for floods in Pakistan'

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Islamabad, Aug.19 (ANI): Pakistan on Thursday said it is yet to decide on the five million dollars aid pledged by India last week in relation to the recent floods in the country.

Replying to a query about India's aid offer today, Pakistan foreign office spokesman Abdul Basit, said : "The Pakistan government is considering the proposal and no decision has been made in this regard."

"We appreciate the gesture by India. Their offer has been conveyed to relevant authorities and the matter is under consideration," Basit further stated.

Nearly one-fifth of Pakistan is now reported to be badly hit by the devastating flood, the worst for the country in 80 years.

Over 1,700 people have died and the UN says more than 6,50,000 people are without basic shelter while six million desperately need emergency aid.

Earlier in the day, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and offered more assistance in handling the devastation caused by the floods even as Pakistan is yet to respond to India's last week's aid offer of five million dollars.

Dr. Singh said in such times of natural disasters, all of South Asia should rise to the occasion and extend every possible help to the people of Pakistan affected by the tragedy.

Singh called Gilani "to express his sense of sorrow and to condole the deaths resulting from the huge floods that have devastated parts of Pakistan. The Government of India had already made an offer of assistance and was ready to do more to assist in the relief effort."

On Aug.13, Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna conveyed deep sympathies on behalf of the Government and the people of India on the devastation caused by floods in Pakistan.

The Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had thanked Mr. Krishna for the call and conveyed appreciation for the concerns over floods in Pakistan.

He also conveyed appreciation for the messages of condolence from the Indian side on the tragic plane crash in Margalla on 28 July 2010.(ANI)

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