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Asia-pacific

Terrorists must not be allowed to exploit floods, says Pakistan

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-08-19

Pakistan's foreign minister has urged UN member states to step up their relief efforts and help ensure the country's catastrophic floods do not hamper its efforts to combat "extremists and terrorists".

AFP - Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told UN members states Thursday that 'terrorists' must not be allowed to exploit his country's flooding disaster.  

"The massive upheaval caused by the floods and the economic losses suffered by the millions of Pakistanis must be addressed urgently," he pleaded. "We cannot allow this catastrophe to become an opportunity for the terrorists."
  
He said the disaster, which has claimed nearly 1,500 lives and affected 20 million people, "hit us hard at a time, and in areas, where we are in the midst of fighting a war against extremists and terrorists."
  
Qureshi said that if the international community failed to assist his government, "it could undermine the hard won gains made by the government in our difficult and painful war against terrorism."
  
"Our material losses exceed 43 billion dollars," he noted.
  
Qureshi warned that what he described as a "natural calamity of unprecedented proportions" was expected to worsen as "the second and third waves of floods inundate more lands and uproot more people."
  
And he said Pakistani authorities have decided to set up an independent national entity to mobilize maximum domestic resources and to ensure their effective and transparent use."
  
"We trust that we shall be provided with the much needed support to augment our national relief and rescue efforts," he added.
  
He spoke at a special session of the UN General Assembly called to boost financial aid to Islamabad.

 

Date created : 2010-08-19

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