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Updated: August 22, 2010 23:42 IST

Gilani: on what ground could we have refused Indian aid?

Anita Joshua
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Flood survivors receive relief goods from a military helicopter at an isolated portion of the Muzaffargarh district, Punjab Province, Pakistan, on Saturday.
Flood survivors receive relief goods from a military helicopter at an isolated portion of the Muzaffargarh district, Punjab Province, Pakistan, on Saturday.

Faced with criticism from some quarters for accepting India's offer of flood assistance — particularly after “American intervention” — Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi this weekend wanted to know from the naysayers on what ground the gesture could have been refused.

In turn, Mr. Gilani was quoted as stating in Lahore on Saturday that accepting India's offer had actually enhanced Pakistan's diplomatic image. “I would like to ask the critics of Indian aid on what ground it should have been refused. It will be a narrow approach to refuse aid from India,” he said, adding that refusal of the offer would have contradicted Pakistan's advocacy for resumption of dialogue between the two countries.

Positive gesture

Though Mr. Qureshi, a week ago, attributed Pakistan's indecisiveness on the Indian offer — made on August 13 and accepted on August 20 — to the sensitivities endemic to India-Pakistan relations, on Sunday he maintained that New Delhi's gesture was a positive one and “we should have no hesitation or remorse in accepting it.”

“Let's be realistic”

Asked if accepting the Indian offer was not tantamount to giving up Pakistan's honour, Mr. Qureshi said: “Let's be realistic. We are appealing to the world to help us… India has also come out and offered assistance. They have done it in the past and we have also done it. God forbid, if they face a natural calamity, we will stand by them.''

On whether the Indian offer would be accepted as a bilateral arrangement or routed through the United Nations, the Minister maintained that New Delhi had said it was for Islamabad to prioritise and the modalities were being worked out and would be conveyed to India soon. However, officials maintained that there was still no clarity on how the $5 million would be routed.

The United Nations Financial Tracking System has listed the Indian offer as a bilateral arrangement.

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I don't understand why India would contribute millions to Pakistan in its current crisis -- a nation which has driven its indigeous Hindu population out of Pakistan. Why would India not invest that same amount of money into improving the lives of its own poor? Does it think that India can buy good will from Pakistan? This is an illusion -- think again.

from:  duart maclean
Posted on: Aug 26, 2010 at 17:25 IST

When you help your enemy it only gets stronger to strike you back. We Indians have never learned anything from the past in regard to Pakistan, even the rich Arab nations are not giving a single penny to Pak when they are supposed to be brothers. Why are we helping them when we can't feed our own people?

from:  Colin DeSouza
Posted on: Aug 26, 2010 at 15:44 IST

It appears some of us Indians do not understand the difference between "country" and "nation". India and Pakistan were never a single Nation! In any case, being geographically close, India has just become a target for terror from Pakistan. No advantages of any sort by these two nation states being close to each other.

from:  B S Kumar
Posted on: Aug 25, 2010 at 12:32 IST

Pakistan is thinking in the right way now, which we could not find in many junctures in the past. Calamities are unfortunate that should be faced with the help of neighbors. Delaying the promise for a week was unnecessary, and the debate on whether receive or reject also been unnecessary. the common aim is to provide possible assistance to the victims that is the importance of donation.

from:  Kunhalankutty Odakkal
Posted on: Aug 24, 2010 at 18:14 IST

Pakistan's plight is not of India's concern. When the Paks are at full strength, the military and anti-India terrorists are planning India's destruction. India has enough infrastructure and poverty issues to deal with. Don't send a single penny to the paks, help your own people first. Ahmed Rashid is a hypocrite if he is complaining about India's inertia in giving aid. These paki journalists are quietly happy when terror strikes in India from Pak. Hopefully all the resources that to date have been used by the pak military and the ISI to target India will now be used for where it is needed most, their own people.

from:  Vipul
Posted on: Aug 24, 2010 at 13:45 IST

Even if in the past after the partition took place could be considered as a bad move from our leaders of that time but India has been showing its love and affection to Pakistan but still Pakistan had made India regret for it.

from:  Abhishek Pawar
Posted on: Aug 24, 2010 at 07:25 IST

No other country is more suitable to help Pakistan than India because, we are geographically closer, e, and further
they were with us before 64 years as a single Nation

from:  B.Chandrasekaran
Posted on: Aug 24, 2010 at 00:11 IST
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