Mudcat Café message #2962813 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #131368   Message #2962813
Posted By: Emma B
11-Aug-10 - 09:49 AM
Thread Name: BS: So little empathy for Pakistan?
Subject: RE: BS: So little empathy for Pakistan?
The worst tragedy IMO about this tragic natural disaster is the attempts to view humanitarian aid as a political tool

As art posted the spokesman for Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, the main Taliban militant umbrella group in Pakistan primarily in conflict with the central government, is reported to have said

"We condemn American and other foreign aid and believe that it will lead to subjugation.
Our jihad against America will continue," "The government should not accept American aid and if it happens, we can give $20 million to them as aid for the flood victims,
"We will ourselves distribute relief under leadership of our chief Hakimullah Mehsud among the people, if the government assures us that none of our members will be arrested."
-Azam Tariq a spokesman for the group, reported by the AFP news agency.

Meanwhile American concerns about other extremist groups providing aid to needy Pakistanis were addressed by Daniel Feldman, a senior US State Department official working on Afghanistan and Pakistan as "quite overblown".

However referring to US efforts to win public support in a country where anti-American feeling runs high, Mark Ward, acting director of the US Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, said the US government tries to "brand as much as possible" of its aid.
For example, US helicopters and other military assets delivering aid "show the flag," while plastic sheeting sent by the US Agency for International Development is stamped with "from the American people," he added

Yesterday the Guardian reported

"Oxfam said the UN's financial tracking system showed that as of August 9, governments had committed less than $45m, with an additional $91m pledged considerably less money than was collected for previous disaster relief efforts over a similar period. India, Pakistan's much larger and wealthier neighbour, has not offered any aid or assistance at all.

It was confirmed today that India, Pakistan's historical foe and close neighbour, has offered no help so far and apparently has no plans to do so. A spokeswoman for the Indian High Commission in London said: "No decision has been taken so far on providing aid or assistance."