Kerry acknowledges civil and military cooperation in relief measures

US Senator John Kerry Thursday said there has been strong and effective cooperation between civil and military administration in the relief work being carried out in the flood affected areas of Pakistan with international help and support.

Talking to APP on board C-130 while flying to Multan to see the damage caused due to floods, Kerry said, there was close coordination of army with democratic government in this relief operation. He especially mentioned meetings of General Kayani with President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani to discuss with them the on going relief measures.

Replying to a question about credibility of politicians in this relief work, Senator Kerry said the helicopters for the relief measures are not flying to the houses of any politicians, adding these helicopters are providing food to flood victims across the board. He said, “we want long term commitment with Pakistan and will ensure it through more help and assistance to the flood affected people.” Senator Kerry said main objective of his visit to flood affected areas was to witness the magnitude of the losses due the natural disaster.

He said the US would increase its assistance to 150 million dollars that was being provided directly, through government of Pakistan and local and international NGOs. Regarding issue of transparency in American assistance, the Senator said it is also the requirement of US Senate and Congress therefore certain measures have been taken to ensure transparency in spending these funds in Pakistan. Answering a question about slow response of world community to provide aid to Pakistan he said, he was impressed by the assistance in pipeline. He said the UN General Assembly is meeting today on Pakistan’s request and expressed the hope that more assistance would come after this meeting.

He said majority of funds from KLB would also be utilised for rehabilitation work in the flood affected areas with provision of food, education, health and other basic needs of life.