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    Rabble Rousing Random Ramblings by S Jagadish is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

    October 11, 2005

    Musharraf plays politics with quake hit in Kashmir

    On Saturday, an earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter Scale hit northern parts of India and Pakistan. The death toll is expected to go beyond 40,000 in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and 1,000 in the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir. Aftershocks continue to create chaos.

    Even as Pakistan battles to cope with the humanitarian crisis caused by the worst earthquake in its history and biggest in the region in the last century, its leader Pervez Musharraf has chosen to act cautiously on India's offer of assistance for rescue and relief work.

    In response to India's offer, he said

    Whatever we need, we will certainly ask, but there is a little bit of sensitivity there.

    Wrong again, Pervez. Just as the common man couldn't care less about who Pakistan's allies were as long as he earned enough to feed himself and his family, educate his children and live comfortably, he would not bother about who sent in assistance to help him and his family members in their hour of need.

    As Nitin succinctly puts it
    There is a chance that India can save lives in Pakistan. That should be good enough a reason to accept Indian assistance.

    I am fairly sure that had the quake happened in say Lahore or Karachi, Musharraf's response towards India's offer of help would have been more positive. Effectively he's saying that because of 'political sensitivities' involved, he is willing to stake the lives of tens of thousands of people living in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.

    This isn't the first time Pervez and Pakistan have been oblivious to calamities in Kashmir. Earlier this year, when avalanches in J & K left several hundreds dead/missing, Pakistan was mum when it came to even condoling with the losses suffered by people. Mind you, we are not talking of Pakistan offering aid. Even a mere statement expressing its grief was missing.

    Update: Pakistan will accept aid from India in the form of blankets, tents, medical supplies and food but not helicopters or joint relief efforts along the Line of Control.

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