Pak religious parties to spin accepting aid as capitulation to India: Analysts

Washington, Aug.21 (ANI): Pakistan's acceptance of India's five million dollar aid offer for flood relief could spark a political backlash in the country, with religious parties criticising the PPP-led government for accepting neighbouring country's help.

"Pakistan has many disputes with India, with reference to Kashmir, and the Indian Army engaging in brutality in occupied Kashmir," said Liaquat Baloch, secretary general of Pakistan's second-largest religious party, the Jamaat-e-Islami.

"In the past, when Pakistan tried to support India after their natural disasters, India never accepted. Therefore, it would be better if our government refused the aid with a big thank you," Baloch said in response to Shah Mehmood Qureshi's statement thanking New Delhi for the help.

Pakistan accepted India's offer after Washington's prodding, and analysts believe that the religious parties in flood-hit country would try to spin the move "as a sign of weakness."

"They will see it as a capitulation to India, that our own government is so weak we have been forced to accept help from the historic enemy," The Christian Science Monitor (CSM) quoted Badar Alam, editor of Herald magazine, as saying.

Mosharraf Zaidi, a columnist for The News, however, described Islamabad's act to accept New Delhi's aid as 'brave' move.

"It's a tremendous gesture, very mature. India should be commended for donating it and Pakistan should be commended for accepting it," Zaidi said.

He underlined that while banned terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) would certainly try to take advantage of the present emergency, both neighbouring nuclear nations should work together to help people in need.

"The whole idea in an emergency is you'll have the Jamat ud Dawas (the charitable wing of the LeT) and you'll have competing powers working almost in tandem to support people. It shows that no matter what our value systems, we have to work together right now," Zaidi said. (ANI)

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