India is a good neighbour: PM

Published October 18, 2005

WASHINGTON, Oct 17: Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said on Monday that cooperation with India on earthquake relief is strengthening relations between the two countries.

India has shipped food, tents, blankets and other material to Pakistan, where much of the damage is concentrated, Mr Aziz said on CNN’s Late Edition.

“We welcome their cooperation,” he said.

“I think this is a good neighbourly attitude,” Mr Aziz said of Indian cooperation. “As the confidence-building measures between the two countries and the peace process moves ahead, all these measures become confidence-building measures themselves.”

He said that the Indian government has been sending food, tents, and blankets and added that this would help build “confidence” between the two hostile nations.

Pakistan is still in need of more tents, the prime minister said, especially as snow and rain begin to fall.

He said Pakistan has created two separate agencies to deal with the quake aftermath: one for rescue and relief and one for rehabilitation and reconstruction.

Host Wolf Blitzer, who spoke by phone with the prime minister, mentioned that rescue workers are still finding children alive in the rubble.

“It is tragic, but there is hope, relief is getting there,” said Mr Aziz. When asked what he needed, Mr Aziz once again emphasized the need for tents for providing shelters to thousands of survivors still living in the open areas where it has already started to snow. He mentioned that the United States is sending more helicopters.

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