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Pakistan Aids Quake-Ridden India

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    Pakistan Aids Quake-Ridden India

    Despite the between rivalry between our nations, it cannot be denied that Pakistan has been quick to come to India's aid in this great tragedy.

    We should put aside our differences and think of how to help the many thousands who have died in this calamity.

    Pakistan Aids Quake-Ridden India

    By RAMOLA TALWAR, Associated Press Writer

    AHMEDABAD, India (AP) - Pakistan put aside its bitter rivalry with India on Tuesday and joined earthquake relief efforts, but heavy equipment and explosives brought in to clear debris signaled that hope of finding survivors had all but vanished.

    Experts say few people could survive more than 100 hours buried in rubble left by Friday's temblor, and much of the attention shifted to getting tents, blankets and medical care to the living.

    Officials have counted 7,148 bodies, but estimates of how high the death toll could rise varied widely. Defense Minister George Fernandes estimated 100,000 may have died; Home Minister Haren Pandya said he believed the figure to be between 15,000 and 20,000.

    Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee said it was impossible and improper to guess.

    Aid from around the world was pouring into western India: a 747 loaded with water purification equipment from the United States, a $500,000 mobile hospital from Denmark and an air force plane filled with tents and blankets from Pakistan. With nighttime temperatures about 41 degrees in the quake zone, blankets were a high priority.

    ``I have come on a humanitarian mission,'' said Ilyas Khan, director of Pakistan's emergency relief agency, adding: ``People are suffering.''

    Pakistan, which has fought three wars with India and is locked in a nuclear Cold War with its rival, said a second relief plane would be sent Wednesday and a third on Thursday.

    Friday's magnitude-7.9 quake flattened the towns of Bhuj and Anjar in India's western Gujarat state, which borders Pakistan, leaving damage estimated at up to $5.5 billion. Despite aftershocks with magnitudes ranging up to 4.5 in the Bhuj area, there were no reports of new damage or casualties.

    Rescue workers kept up the dark task of digging into the debris of ruined buildings, but they called the search for survivors increasingly futile. With Tuesday afternoon passed the critical 100-hour mark since the quake struck.

    ``We talk about a limit of 100 hours, when after that the chances of finding someone alive drop dramatically,'' said Jochen Jakowski, the leader of a German rescue team in Anjar. ``It is close to a world record if we find someone after 100 hours.''

    A spokesman for a Swiss search and rescue team said his workers were still going at full strength in Ahmedabad , Gujarat's commercial center. However, they withdrew from Bhuj after failing to find any survivors there Tuesday.

    ``The chances of finding someone are very, very slight, although we haven't given up hope entirely,'' Joachim Ahrens, spokesman for the Swiss Department of Development and Cooperation, said from Geneva.

    In the wreckage, however, there were a few miracles Tuesday. Among them was 16-year-old Ketan Rathod, pulled from the rubble alive in Anjar, where he was caught under concrete with his dead grandmother for 96 hours. And British experts pulled a 24-year-old man out of his destroyed home in Bhuj.

    James Brown, head of the British search and rescue team, said the successful recovery inspired the team to continue its efforts for at least another 24 hours.

    But workers in Anjar were also beginning to use heavy equipment to clear the debris - a sign that they no longer fear injuring anyone still trapped alive. In Ahmedabad, soldiers used explosives to bring down teetering buildings that endangered the living.

    The stench of death was everywhere. Mourners wore face coverings as they watched victims be cremated; soldiers burned incense as they persevered in the grim work of looking for bodies.

    Much of the rescue work was being carried out by some of the 20,000 troops India sent to respond to the disaster. The national government pledged money to help Gujarat recover, and Indians across the nation were also digging into their pockets to contribute.

    U.S. Embassy spokesman Gordon Duguid said the 747 - which was also carrying blankets and other aid - was too big to land in Bhuj, so its cargo would be broken up into smaller loads and ferried to Gujarat on Indian air force planes. The United States has pledged $5 million in emergency supplies.

    The International Red Cross on Tuesday started a massive relief operation and appealed for $15.8 million in aid. The U.N. Children's Fund said it would provide at least $8 million immediately.


    I bet all the pakistani hating indus are scratching their heads at this gesture !



      i not surprised by pakistan's help.
      i know pakistan will help us


        Really rvikz??
        I did not expect that from esp. with the latest posts.
        And great news on pakistan's part.
        We should help out india.
        And this has paid off, as India is pulling back troops.
        I just hope it is not shame like the ceasefires.

        You can't fix stupid. So might as well troll them!


          Both sides are playing up the significance of the telephone conversation between the CE and Vajpayee. So there is definetly a thawing of relations betweeen the two, and that can only be a welcome development.

          Pakistan, India see chance for peace: Qureshi

          KARACHI: Both Pakistan and India on Saturday reacted warmly to Musharraf-Vajpayee telephonic contact, with the former terming it as a positive development for peace and the latter evaluating it as a sign of thaw in frozen ties between the two rival countries.

          The first direct contact between Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Chief Executive General Pervez is a positive development for peace, Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Major-General Rashid Qureshi told AFP.

          Qureshi, who is also Musharraf's press secretary, said: "It is certainly a positive sign and development. It's a good omen for peace and if someone is genuinely interested in peace and resolution of the main problem he must build on this opportunity."

          Vajpayee and Musharraf talked by telephone on Friday about India's quake disaster, marking the first contact between the leaders of South Asia's bitter nuclear rivals since well before Musharraf came into power in October 1999.

          During the phone conversation Musharraf expressed sympathy over the January 26 quake that devastated the Indian state of Gujarat, with estimates of the death toll ranging from 30,000 to 100,000.

          The foreign ministry here said Musharraf offered to send more relief from Pakistan, which has already delivered three plane loads of blankets and tents. Qureshi said the two leaders spoke for seven to eight minutes and agreed to remain in touch with each other in future.

          An official Indian statement in New Delhi on Friday said Vajpayee assured Musharraf of India's continuous desire to build a good neighbourly relationship with Pakistan. Meanwhile, Indian foreign ministry spokesman Ravinder Singh Jassal said in New Delhi there are "signs in the air" that relations between India and Pakistan are thawing, the New Delhi government said Saturday, a day after the leaders of the rival neighbours spoke for the first time, in a telephone call about India's earthquake.

          "There are signs in the air, no doubt, but not enough," Indian foreign ministry spokesman Ravinder Singh Jassal told The Associated Press. "What we feel here is that the moment Pakistan stops cross-border terrorism, many positive things will come up," Jassal said. "Talks can then be held and trade will improve and increase." Jassal said: "artillery fire from Pakistan's side of the border has lessened recently and there has been a slowing of infiltrations into the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir."

          "The slowdown may be also due to increased vigilance by our men on the border," Jassal said, "but overall there are signs in the air that things have improved slightly. We would like to see Pakistan stopping cross-border terrorism in Kashmir," Jassal said.


            Pakistan and India gotta talk. Talking solves a lot of problems. Even if there are no direct results the hostility will be smaller. There is no harm in tailking!


              Hey not any more, the won't even play cricket with us.

              You can't fix stupid. So might as well troll them!


                CM if they won't play cricket with us, then that is their loss? Or maybe not considering the sad state of their cricket team. Maybe they are trying to spare themselves the sahme of being battered Kargil-style?


                  Cancelling the Sharjah tour was the prime example that they simply do not want to resolve the matter.
                  This was one hell of a chance for these two countries to resolve their differnces and work towards a healthy relationship....Pakistan sent three plane loads of relief goods, after all that has happened between the two countries....and what do they come up with....cancel the tour!!!!

                  They want to play with their film stars...I guess what the deserve...

                  /* ^You mess wid me....I mess wid U^- AlCapone *\


                    Ofcourse Pakistan is helping India. Two neighbours should always help each other. That's what our religion, Islam, teaches us.

                    Who says nothing is impossible? I've been doing nothing all my life!


                      Yes, regardless of what the HINDUvta's say and do we as Muslim's and Pakistani's must continue to aid the distressed in India. That is Islam's devotion to all humanity, regardless of faith and background.


                        I wonder where all the indians are???

                        CROIRE A L'INCROYABLE
                        You can't fix stupid. So might as well troll them!


                          Would you believe helping earthquake relief efforts? Dude, in under 10 days, the city of Houston went from sleepy desi metropolis to fire-brand earthquake fundraisers.

                          I can hardly pop into Gupshup anymore. It's sad for you, I know.


                            Originally posted by CM:
                            I wonder where all the indians are???

                            They are in front of the Red Fort erecting a statue of Shivaji.
                            "A woman has got to be able to say, and not feel guilty, 'Who am I, and what do I want out of life?' She mustn't feel selfish and neurotic if she wants goals of her own, outside of husband and children"


                              Barely 48 hours after the feel-good factor generated in India and Pakistan thanks to the
                              brief telephonic conversation between their heads of the state on the Gujarat earthquake, the
                              Pakistan Chief Executive, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, today demanded a positive response from India to the
                              recent peace initiatives by his country. Otherwise, it should be prepared to face the consequences.