Urging New Delhi and Islamabad to cooperate in bringing relief to the flood-affected people in Pakistan, the Balusa Group on Sunday asked the country to step up aid.
“At this time of crisis, the governments must cooperate with each other in bringing help to the afflicted. They must rise above the doubts and suspicions that have kept us apart for so long. Let this emergency open a new window of opportunity for a better relationship,” the group, which is committed to peace between the two countries, said in a statement.
The statement was issued by the group's conveners, the former Indian Foreign Secretary, Salman Haidar, and the former Pakistan National Security Adviser, Mahmud Ali Durrani.
The floods in Pakistan, it said, demanded a massive and urgent response from the international community as the country faces a crushing humanitarian emergency of unprecedented dimension.
While Pakistan responded through a vast national effort by public as well as private agencies, its efforts must be supplemented by worldwide action. The United Nations has taken the lead in activating a global response and has appealed to governments, humanitarian organisations, and individuals to respond on a scale, commensurate with the urgent requirements of those who have lost everything to the floods.
It said: “Concerted international action is imperative to bring aid and succour to the tens of millions who face terrible challenges of survival and rebuilding. This is a time for Pakistan's immediate neighbours to rise to the challenge, especially India, which is familiar with the destruction that an errant monsoon can cause.”
“We, therefore, applaud the Indian offer of $5 million to the United Nations-led relief effort, which has been graciously accepted by Pakistan. This should be regarded as a beginning, to be followed by substantial enhancement of this amount and the supplies of medicines and other relief materials from across the border,” the statement said.