Our flood relief proceedings well, says Pakistan to Modi offer

Written by: IANS
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Islamabad/New Delhi, Sep 7: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday undertook an aerial survey of flood-hit areas in Pakistan-administered Kashmir and appreciated the rescue and relief operations, said official sources in Islamabad on Sunday.

"Our Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had aerial survey of Azad Kashmir (Pakistani-administered Kashmir) and other flood-hit areas today (Sunday). Our rescue and relief operations are proceeding effectively," a Pakistan government source said.

"The people of Pakistan are also feeling pain and saddened over the loss of lives and properties of the people in IoK (Indian Jammu and Kashmir) and are with them and ready to help in whatever way possible to mitigate their sufferings caused by the heavy floods," the source said.

Heavy monsoon rains and flash floods have killed scores of people in Pakistan, as well as the part of Kashmir that is under Pakistan control. More than 100 people have died in floods and related incidents in Indian Jammu and Kashmir.

The Pakistan statement was in response to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's offer of help to the Pakistan government in tackling the flood calamity that has hit Pakistan-administered Kashmir, the Pakistan official source said.

Modi, who toured flood-hit Jammu and Kashmir Sunday, declared the floods as "national level disaster". He also announced Rs.1,000 crore as special assistance for rehabilitation for the state.

Modi also expressed anguish at the flood damage and loss of lives in neighbouring areas in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. He said India was ready to provide humanitarian assistance to the affected areas if Pakistan requires it.

"In this hour of distress, the government of India is ready to provide humanitarian assistance to those areas if the Pakistan government needs it," he said.

Relations between the two neighbours has soured of late after India called off the foreign secretary-level talks scheduled for Aug 25 over Pakistan envoy in India Abdul Basit holding talks with separatist Kashmiri leaders ahead of the official bilateral talks.

The foreign secretary-level talks were scheduled to be the precursor of the bilateral meeting between Modi and Sharif in New York later this month on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting. The bilateral is now unlikely.


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