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Accept India aid: US

world Updated: Aug 20, 2010 00:50 IST
Anirudh Bhattacharyya

The US has made it clear that it expects Pakistan to accept the $5 million in aid that the Indian Government has offered in the wake of the floods that have devastated it.

The aid offer was made by External Affairs Minister SM Krishna last Friday during a telephonic conversation with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi. However, there has been no response from the Pakistan Government.

The Obama Administration has not taken kindly to Pakistan's reluctance on this front. At a briefing, State Department spokesman PJ Crowley underscored this point, as he said, "In terms of responding to a disaster, politics should play no role." He went on to say, "You have a country that's willing to help Pakistan, and I think we expect that Pakistan will accept."

His view was also echoed by Frank Ruggiero, Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, who said, "I think the priority is to use offers of assistance to help the Pakistani people, so we would encourage the Government of Pakistan to accept that offer."

While domestic political sensitivities may be involved in Pakistan's stand on the matter so far, it is seeking international humanitarian aid in the aftermath of the floods that have swept through the nation. In fact, both the US and the UN have repeatedly stressed on the need for more international aid to Pakistan since the overall response thus far has been far below targets and tepid when compared to the response from the global community to the Haiti earthquake.

The United Nations has said that the donor response to the floods situation is now "more encouraging."

Now, if donor response becomes stronger that may just allow Pakistan to reject the aid offer from India.