Source Pravda.Ru

Pakistan refused to accept Indian aid

Pakistan has said it doesn't immediately need helicopters offered by India for rescue operations in its earthquake-devastated areas, an Indian government statement said Monday.

India had made the offer immediately after Saturday's earthquake as a goodwill gesture that was reciprocated by Pakistan with a similar offer. But neither country was likely to accept aid from the other, given the uneasy relations between the two hostile neighbors.

"The Pakistan director-general of military operations has stated that for the moment they have adequate helicopters and other rescue efforts, but would approach us if they needed our assistance," the Indian statement said.

It also said the Indian commanders were in contact with their Pakistani counterparts for any assistance needed to bring relief to the survivors of the quake in the disputed region of Kashmir, which is divided between the two countries, the AP reports.

The Pakistani-controlled Kashmir took the main hit of the 7.6-magnitude earthquake with at least 20,000 people reported killed. In the Indian portion of Kashmir, more than 965 people have lost their lives.

India and Pakistan have fought two wars over control of Kashmir since they won independence from Britain in 1947.

India accuses Pakistan of running training camps for Islamic rebels in Pakistan-held Kashmir, the area which suffered the major devastation on Saturday.

Pakistan denies the charge and says it only provides moral and diplomatic support to the rebels whom it describes as freedom fighters.

T.E.

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