Afghan president brings aid to quake-hit Pakistan
Updated: 2005-10-24 16:10
Afghan President Hamid Karzai arrived in Islamabad with more aid
for survivors of the powerful earthquake which devastated northern Pakistan this
month, officials said.
"President Karzai has arrived," Pakistani foreign office spokeswoman Tasnim
Aslam said on Monday.
His office in Kabul said he had brought five tonnes (tons) of medicine and a
30-strong medical team to Islamabad, as well as his foreign, defence and health
Karzai was expected to discuss relief measures with the Pakistani leadership
following the October 8 quake that killed more than 53,000 people, injured about
75,000 and made more than three million homeless.
He was due to meet President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz
to "discuss the ongoing international rescue and relief operations... and
Afghanistan's assistance to the victims of the earthquake," a statement said.
The medical team was made up of doctors, nurses and pharmacists.
The government of poverty-stricken Afghanistan has already contributed four
military helicopters, medical teams, food aid and cash to the relief operation.
At least eight US helicopters and five German aircraft based in Afghanistan
to maintain security and help with reconstruction after the fall of the Taliban
government in 2001 have also been diverted to Pakistan.
Afghanistan is grateful for Pakistan's hosting thousands of refugees who fled
an earlier Soviet invasion but their relations have been strained over Taliban
and other militants believed to be sheltering in Pakistani territory.
Pakistan has carried out several operations to root out the militants, who
cross into Afghanistan to carry out attacks as part of an insurgency against
Karzai's government, but some officials in Afghanistan say it is not doing
enough to round up the fighters.
Reacting to the worst tragedy in Pakistan's history, Karzai last week
launched an appeal to the Afghan people to extend maximum help to the
"The hearts of the Afghan people are full of grief and pain and sorrow for
our brothers and sisters in Pakistan, for those who have suffered," he