‘Stringed’ US assistance unacceptable: Sherry Rehman

June 18th, 2009 - 6:20 pm ICT by ANI  

Islamabad, June 18 (ANI): Criticizing the ’stringed’ US assistance to Pakistan, former Pakistan Information minister, Sherry Rehman, has said that the assistance being offered to Islamabad by Washington was a major factor which comprises the strategic goals of both the countries.

Testifying before the US Congress Sub-Committee on National Security hearing for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) crisis, Rehman said there was a need for an absolute commitment on the part of the Unites States and other countries to help Pakistan come out from its worst humanitarian crisis since its formation in 1947.

She also charged the international community for its laid back attitude towards the problem, and said that only a small amount of the pledged financial help has actually reached Pakistan for the rehabilitation work for thousands of people who have been rendered homeless due to the military operation in Swat and Malakand regions.

“Only a small percentage of the 430 million dollars pledged has been actually translated into relief aid. The UN has said its appeal for 543 million dollars in emergency aid has not been met yet, and if by July the deficit in international help remains at 80 percent, food supplies to the camps will end,” The Daily Times quoted Rehman, as saying.

She warned that if the crisis persisted for long, and the homeless people continued to suffer, Pakistan could lose the battle of its survival, as public anger against the government’s failure to provide relief to the IDPs could transform into another rebellion

“The fact that 80 percent of IDPs are not living in camps is a crisis waiting to unfold. So, the longer this crisis lingers, the quicker our space for an existential battle against terrorism will shrink,” Rehman said. (ANI)

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