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Flood aid would not fall in Taliban hands: Malik

By Nitsi

London, Aug.18 (ANI): Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik has assured the international community that the aid being flown into the country for the flood victims would be utilised only for the purpose it is intended for.

While millions of Pakistanis battle devastating floods, which have inundated almost one-fifth of the country, the international response to the catastrophe has been slow, as the world is apprehensive over the funds landing in the hands of the Taliban.

Malik, however, stressed that Islamabad is open to an audit and urged the international community to supply more funds.

"I assure the entire international community who would be supplying aid in any form, we give them assurance we will be auditable," BBC quoted Malik, as saying.

He said that the government is considering hiring international auditors to oversee the use of funds.

"This belongs to the poor people, the flood victims. I assure that it will travel to them," Malik added.

According to an estimate, over 20 million people have been affected by the deluge, and the United Nations (UN) has put the death toll to 1600 with health officials warning that the toll could rise as water-borne diseases spread.

Malik argued that the government has been able to cope the initial crisis, but the scale of crisis is huge.

"What happened was never expected. In the history of the whole subcontinent there was never such a disaster.That is why were are making an appeal. The magnitude of disaster is so big, Pakistan cannot handle it, with all our given resources, our army, other law enforcement agencies, civil societies," he said.

Meanwhile, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Iftikhar Hussain expressed fears of a famine if immediate steps are not taken.

"If immediate steps are not taken, we fear a famine. The farmers have lost everything: their crops, their machines, their houses, their seeds," Hussain said. (ANI)

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