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Pak agrees to take Indian aid

Under increasing pressure from the United States, Pakistan finally agreed "in principle" to accept India's offer of $5 million in aid to help with the flood situation, a full week after the original donation was proposed by External Affairs Minister SM Krishna to his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

world Updated: Aug 21, 2010 01:17 IST
Anirudh Bhattacharyya

Under increasing pressure from the United States, Pakistan finally agreed "in principle" to accept India's offer of $5 million in aid to help with the flood situation, a full week after the original donation was proposed by External Affairs Minister SM Krishna to his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

Speaking to mediapersons in New York while attending the special session of the United Nations on the flood situation in his country, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Qureshi said the country's "political leadership" had been "considering the offer." He said, "Pakistan was reviewing it and we have decided, in principle, that we will accept the offer."

The modalities of how the humanitarian aid will be disbursed will be worked out later; whether it will be in "cash or kind" or whether it will be routed through the United Nations' Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs which is managing the relief effort. At the same time, Pakistani diplomats said that additional aid offers from India would also be considered in the future.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described India's offer as a "very good sign." The decision may also have been influenced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's telephonic conversation with Yousaf Raza Gilani on Thursday.