News / Asia

Pakistani Analysts Respond to Indian Flood Aid with Caution

Multimedia

Audio
Sean Maroney

As hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid come pouring into Pakistan to help with the flooding crisis, Islamabad has accepted a pledge from an unlikely source, longtime rival India.

Officials with the United Nations in Pakistan announced Saturday that they have received nearly 70 percent of the $460 million aid appeal for the country's flood disaster.

Nearly a month into the flood crisis, this total includes India's recent offer of $5 million to help with the relief effort.

India's permanent representative to the United Nations Hardeep Singh Puri addressed the organization's General Assembly Friday after Pakistan accepted the pledge.

"We are willing to do all that is in our power to assist Pakistan in facing the consequences of floods," said Puri.  "We extend our wholehearted support to the government of Pakistan in its efforts for relief and rehabilitation of the adversely affected population."

Aside from the fact that the neighboring nuclear powers have fought three wars, Pakistani analysts say this offer of aid comes at a particularly sensitive time in relations between the two countries.

Within the past two months, there have been several border skirmishes between their armies with some casualties reported on either side.

In July, India's Home Secretary G.K. Pillai accused Pakistan's military intelligence agency of playing a significant role in the planning of 2008's Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people.  The accusation came a day before Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna visited his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi in Islamabad.  Subsequently, the accusation overshadowed the talks.

International relations expert Ishtiaq Ahmad from Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad says he believes the worldwide focus on Pakistan's flooding might have influenced India to offer aid to its longtime rival.

"The Indians might have been facing a big dilemma because the whole world is out there," said Ahmad.  "So they would have been an odd man out, you know, in a situation when everyone is coming.  Even Afghanistan has offered $1 million."

Riffat Hussain with Quaid-i-Azam University's Department of Peace and Conflict Studies says the issue of exchanging humanitarian aid between the two countries always has been politically sensitive.

He points to the fact Pakistan spurned India's offer to fly helicopters for relief efforts after the 2005 earthquake in the northern part of the country.

He also says India itself has declined Pakistani assistance in the past.

"There was an earthquake that had hit Gujarat about a decade ago, and Pakistan had offered humanitarian relief assistance to India and the Indian government had turned it down," said Hussain.  "So there is whole history of offers being made and spurned by the different sides."

He says he believes India's $5 million pledge is a delicate diplomatic maneuver, especially as compared to the tens of millions of dollars other countries are providing and Pakistan's enormous need for assistance.

"It's like a drop in the ocean, not even in the bucket," added Hussain.  "So therefore, I think they are sending a message not only to the international community but also to Pakistan that India means well."

From Lahore, international relations analyst Rasool Baksh Rais agrees with Hussain that the pledge largely is symbolic.  But he says some elements within Pakistan will not take kindly to the sum, especially considering India's economy is much larger than Pakistan's.

"It is also a kind of insult to injury that you are acting like a regional hegemony and look at the growth of your economy," said Rais.

He says Islamabad's acceptance of the aid could put pressure on the civilian government, as it fights growing criticism from flood victims that they have not received enough aid.

"There has been even much critique from certain opposition forces that why we cannot mobilize the national resources; they can be more than enough to meet the challenge that we are facing," added Rais.  "Why accept aid?"

Regardless of the source and size of the aid, analysts agree that every little bit will help as rains continue to soak a country seeking to emerge from the area's worst flooding in more than 80 years.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid