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Posts Tagged ‘Pakistan’

Officials: CIA station chief pulled from Islamabad

Posted by Admin on December 18, 2010

The flag of Afghanistan between 1997-2001, dis...

Former Flag of Afghanistan showing the Shahadah

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101217/ap_on_go_ot/us_pakistan_cia

WASHINGTON – The CIA has pulled its top spy out of Pakistan after terrorists threatened to kill him, current and former U.S. officials said, an unusual move for the U.S. and a complication on the front lines of the fight against al-Qaida.

The CIA station chief was in transit Thursday after a Pakistani lawsuit earlier this month accused him of killing civilians in missile strikes.

The lawsuit listed a name for the station chief, but The Associated Press has learned the name is not correct. The AP is not publishing the station chief’s name because he remains undercover and his name is classified.

CIA airstrikes from unmanned aircraft have killed terrorist leaders but have led to accusations in Pakistan that the strikes kill innocent people. The U.S. does not acknowledge the missile strikes, but there have been more than 100 such attacks this year — more than double the amount in 2009.

The lawsuit blew the American spy’s cover, leading to threats against him and forcing the U.S. to call him home, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

“Our station chiefs routinely encounter major risk as they work to keep America safe, and they’ve been targeted by terrorists in the past,” CIA spokesman George Little said. “They are courageous in the face of danger, and their security is obviously a top priority for the CIA, especially when there’s an imminent threat.”

The Pakistani lawsuit also named CIA Director Leon Panetta and Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Demonstrators in the heart of the capital have carried placards bearing the officer’s name as listed in the lawsuit and urging him to leave the country.

Shahzad Akbar, the lawyer bringing the case, said he got the name listed in the lawsuit from local journalists. He said he included the name because he wanted to sue a CIA operative living within the jurisdiction of the Islamabad court.

A Pakistani intelligence officer said the country’s intelligence service, the ISI, knew the identity of the stationchief, but had “no clue” how the name listed in the lawsuit was leaked.

The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because his agency, like many around the world, does not allow its operatives to be named in the media.

The CIA’s work is unusually difficult in Pakistan, one of the United States’ most important and at times frustrating counterterrorism allies.

The station chief in Islamabad operates as a secret general in the U.S. war against terrorism. He runs the Predator drone program targeting terrorists, handles some of the CIA’s most urgent and sensitive tips and collaborates closely with Pakistan’s ISI, one of the most important relationships in the spy world.

Almost a year ago seven CIA officers and contractors were killed when a suicide bomber attacked a CIA base in Khost, Afghanistan. Six other agency officers were wounded in the attack, one of the deadliest in CIA history.

It’s rare for a CIA station chief to see his cover blown. In 1999, an Israeli newspaper revealed the identity of the station chief in Tel Aviv. In 2001, an Argentine newspaper printed a picture of the Buenos Aires station chief and details about him. In both instances, the station chiefs were recalled to the U.S.

____

Associated Press writer Chris Brummitt in Islamabad contributed to this report.

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Pakistani officials: US missiles kill 54 in NW

Posted by Admin on December 17, 2010

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101217/ap_on_re_as/as_pakistan

PESHAWAR, Pakistan – Three American missile attacks killed 54 alleged militants Friday close to the Afghan border, an unusually high number of victims that included commanders of a Taliban-allied group that were holding a meeting, Pakistani officials said.

The attacks took place in the Khyber tribal region, which has been rarely struck by American missiles before over the last three years. That could indicate a possible expansion of the CIA-led covert campaign of drone strikes inside Pakistani territory.

The Obama administration has intensified missile attacks in northwest Pakistan since taking office, desperate to weaken insurgent networks there that U.S. officials say are behind much of the violence againstU.S. troops just across the frontier in Afghanistan.

The first strike targeted two vehicles in the Sandana area of the Tirah Valley, killing seven militants and wounding another nine. The men were believed to belong to the Pakistani Taliban, one of the country’s largest and deadliest insurgent groups.

Later, missiles hit a compound in Speen Darang village where the Lashkar-e-Islam, a Taliban affiliate known to be strong in Khyber, were meeting, killing 32 people, among them commanders. The third strike took place in Narai Baba village and killed 15 militants, the officials said.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

U.S. officials do not acknowledge firing the missiles, much less comment on who they are targeting. It is impossible to independently report on the aftermath of the attacks because outsiders are not allowed to visit the tribal regions. Human rights groups say there are significant numbers of civilian casualties in the attacks.

Most of the more than 100 missile attacks this year inside Pakistan have taken place in North Waziristan, which is effectively under the control of a mix of Taliban, al-Qaida and related groups. The region, seen as the major militant sanctuary in Pakistan, has yet to see an offensive by the Pakistani military.

On Thursday, President Obama urged Pakistan to do more in tackling extremists in the border lands. Pakistan’s army has moved into several tribal regions over the last two years, but says it lacks the troops to launch a North Waziristan operation anytime soon and hold gains it has made elsewhere.

U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter said the United States would like the Pakistani army to move into North Waziristan “tomorrow” but that he believed Islamabad’s stated reasons for not attacking the region immediately.

“I think there is a capacity issue,” Munter told reporters Friday. “There is a great amount of capacity being used in holding the ground the Pakistani army has won at great cost.”

Pakistani officials protest the missile strikes, but are believed to secretly authorize and provide intelligence on at least some of them. Analysts also say targeting information for many of the attacks is likely to be provided by Pakistani intelligence officials.

Also Friday, police said nine people were killed by mortar rounds fired by suspected Sunni extremists in two attacks in the northwest. The presumed targets in Hangu district and the nearby tribal area of Kurram were Shiite Muslims, said Hangu police chief Abdur Rasheed.

In Hangu, three mortars missed a Shiite mosque, hitting a house, killing six and wounding eight. In Kurram, a mortar hit a house, killing three, he said.

Anti-Shiite militants in Pakistan predate al-Qaida and the Taliban, which are also Sunni. These days, the groups are firmly allied and have overlapping memberships. They generally believe it is acceptable, even meritorious, to kill Pakistan’s minority Shiites because they consider them heretics.

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Associated Press writers Nahal Toosi in Islamabad, Ishtiaq Mehsud in Dera Ismail Khan and Hussain Afzal reporting from Parachinar.

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Another US missile strike kills 3 in Pakistan

Posted by Admin on November 26, 2010

MQ-1L Predator UAV armed with AGM-114 Hellfire...

Remote Controlled Drone Plane

By RASOOL DAWAR, Associated Press Rasool Dawar, Associated Press 56 mins ago

MIR ALI, Pakistan – Suspected U.S. missiles hit a vehicle carrying three alleged militants in Pakistan’s northwest on Friday, the latest in a barrage of strikes by unmanned planes on the Taliban stronghold, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

The officials say a pair of missiles hit a moving vehicle in Pir Kali village in North Waziristan. The area is home to a mix of Afghan and Pakistani Taliban fighters who target American and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Taliban fighters and local tribesmen fired at three more drones still hovering after the attack, but their assault rifles could not hit the aircraft. The two Pakistani officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media on the record.

The U.S. has ramped up its officially unacknowledged drone attacks in Pakistan‘s lawless border region, launching more than 100 missile strikes this year in an attempt to kill key Taliban and al-Qaida figures.

Most of the attacks have been in North Waziristan, where Islamist militants run terrorist training camps and plot attacks in Afghanistan.

The U.S. has pressured Pakistan to launch a military offensive in North Waziristan to bring the border region under control. But the army has said its forces are stretched thin fighting the Taliban in other areas and dealing with the aftermath of the country’s worst floods, which have driven about 7 million people from their homes.

 

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US relationship with Pak ‘complicated’: Holbrooke

Posted by Admin on October 3, 2010

Sat, Oct 2 12:25 PM
Amidst reports of strains in US-Pakistan ties in view of incidents like NATO air strikes in areas bordering Afghanistan, American special envoy for the region, Richard Holbrooke, has acknowledged that the overall relationship between the two countries is complicated.

“The overall relationship with Pakistan is complicated, more complicated than any strategic relationship I have ever been involved in. But at the end of the day, success in Afghanistan, however you define success, is not achievable unless Pakistan is part of the solution, not part of the problem,” he told ABC News.

“… we’re going to work with the Pakistanis, at least as long I’m involved in this because I believe it’s the right policy and I know that the administration does, too. That doesn’t mean we’re not without frustrations….” Holbrooke said when asked about a report in ‘The Washington Post’ which

said there is strain in relationship between the two countries.

On the current border situation, he said he does not believe that it is going to change the fundamental relationship between the two countries.

“There were apparently some events that crossed the border in an area which … is complicated and very rough terrain,” Holbrooke said.

“It was very unfortunate. And an investigation is going on in that by NATO as it should and the secretary-general of NATO has expressed his regret about it and I would echo that. But I do not think it will change the fundamentals of the relationship,” he said.

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Militants set fire to NATO tankers in Pakistan

Posted by Admin on October 2, 2010

Member countries of NATO in blue

Member Countries of NATO(Blue)

Police collect bullets shells next to burning ...

KARACHI (Reuters) – Suspected militants in Pakistan set fire to three dozen tankers carrying fuel for NATO troops in Afghanistan on Friday, officials said, a day after three soldiers were killed in a cross-border NATO air strike.

Angered by repeated incursions by NATO helicopters over the past week, Pakistan has blocked a supply route for coalition troops in Afghanistan.

Pakistan is a crucial ally for the United States in its efforts to stabilize Afghanistan, but analysts say border incursions and disruptions inNATO supplies underline growing tensions in the relationship.

A senior Pakistani intelligence official said the border incursions could lead to a “total snapping of relations.” But U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke told a forum in Washington the current tensions were unlikely to “change the fundamental relationship between our two countries.”

Senior local officials blamed “extremists” for the attack on the tankers in the southern town of Shikarpur. About 12 people, their faces covered, opened fire with small arms into the air to scare away the drivers and then set fire to 35 tankers.

“Some of them have been completely destroyed and others partially. But there is no loss of human life,” Shikarpur police chief Abdul Hameed Khoso told Reuters.

In a separate incident, two unidentified men fired on a NATO tanker traveling through a town in Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan province toward Afghanistan. Two people burned to death after the vehicle caught fire, security officials said.

Police arrested 10 people after the earlier attack, including five netted from a raid on an Islamic seminary, or madrasa.

The tankers were parked at a filling station on their way to Afghanistan from Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi.

Thursday, three Pakistani soldiers were killed and three wounded in two cross-border incursions by NATO forces chasing militants in Pakistan’s northwestern Kurram region.

It was the third cross-border incident in a week, the Pakistan military said. NATO said the helicopters briefly crossed into Pakistan airspace after coming under fire from people there.

OTHER OPTIONS?

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, speaking in parliament, said Pakistan was a partner in the war against Islamist militancy, but would allow no infringement of its sovereignty.

“I want to assure the entire nation from this house that we will consider other options if there is interference in the sovereignty of our country,” Gilani said without elaborating.

Pakistan’s ambassador to Belgium lodged a protest with NATO’s deputy general secretary over the incursions, the Pakistan embassy said in a statement.

Holbrooke, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, told the Washington Ideas Forum the border incident was “very unfortunate” and that the NATO secretary general had expressed his regrets, which Holbrooke echoed.

Despite tensions, analysts say a rift is unlikely between Pakistan and its Western allies as each side needs the other.

The European Union said it had decided to more than double its Pakistan flood aid to 150 million euros ($205 million).

Thursday, hours after the cross-border attack, Pakistani authorities halted tankers carrying supplies for the NATO forces passing through the Khyber tribal region on the Afghan border.

About three-quarters of the cargo for NATO forces in Afghanistan moves through Pakistan, mostly via twoborder crossings: Chaman north of Quetta in Baluchistan and Torkham at the Khyber Pass.

Another third flows into Afghanistan through the northern distribution network across Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Sensitive gear like ammunition, weapons and critical equipment is flown in.

Officials say supplies through Chaman continue uninterrupted.

Holbrooke said it was “inconceivable” that border crossings in the Khyber region would face any long closure because of the “colossal effect” it would have on the surrounding area.

PAKISTAN UNDER SPOTLIGHT

Pakistan has again come under the spotlight after Western intelligence sources said a plot to stage attacks in Europe had been disrupted by an upsurge in missile strikes by U.S. drones.

Security officials said they had no evidence of a plot being hatched in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Most recent drone strikes have taken place in the northwestern North Waziristan region.

“It’s no secret that there are terrorists from all nationalities in North Waziristan. They are Arabs, Uzbeks, Pakistani, Afghan, Chechans, German, Brits, Americans, everyone. And they are threat to us, to their own countries and to the entire world,” a senior security official said.

“But to say that we have any specific information that they were plotting attacks against this country or that country, then sir, we don’t have any concrete information or intelligence about that.”

(Additional reporting by Hamid Shaikh and Zeeshan Haider, and David Alexander in Washington; Writing by Zeeshan Haider; Editing by Chris Allbritton and Ron Popeski)

==========================================================================================================================================

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Assailants in Pakistan launched two separate attacks Friday on vehicles carrying fuel for NATO and American forces in Afghanistan, highlighting the vulnerability of the U.S.-led mission a day after Pakistan closed a major border crossing.

A truck driver and his assistant were burned alive in the second attack on a single tanker in the parking lot of a restaurant in southeastern Baluchistan province, said police officer Mohammad Azam. He said “anti-state elements” were behind the attack.

That term could refer to Islamist militants or separatist rebels active in the region.

Earlier Friday, suspected militants torched 27 tankers carrying oil for troops in Afghanistan in Sindh province.

Around 80 percent of the fuel, spare parts, clothing and other non-lethal supplies for foreign forces in landlocked Afghanistan travels throughPakistan after arriving in the southern Arabian sea port of Karachi. The alliance has other supply routes to Afghanistan, but the Pakistani ones are the cheapest and most convenient.

The Pakistani government shut the Torkham border crossing in the northwest on Thursday in apparent protest of a NATO helicopter incursion that killed three of its soldiers on the border. It kept open the Chaman crossing in Baluchistan, where it seemed likely the vehicles attacked Friday were heading.

The closure raised tensions between Pakistan and the United States, which have a close but often troubled alliance in the fight against militants.

Islamist militants regularly attack NATO supply tankers in Pakistan, mostly in the northwestern border region where their influence is stronger.

In Sindh, around 10 gunmen attacked the tankers when they were parked at an ordinary truck stop on the edge of Shikarpur town shortly after midnight. They forced the drivers and other people there to flee before setting the fires, said police officer Abdul Hamid Khoso.

Another officer, Nisar Ahmed, said the tankers had arrived in Shikarpur from Karachi and were heading to Quetta, a major city in the southwest. From there, the road leads to Chaman.

Attacks on NATO and U.S. supply convoys in Pakistan give militants a propaganda victory, but coalition officials say they do not result in shortages in Afghanistan. Some of the attacks are believed to be the work of criminals or in Baluchistan, separatists. Some officials allege truck owners may be behind some of them, perhaps to fraudulently claim insurance.

The vast majority of the convoys, however, through the country unharmed and the frequency of attacks reported in the media does not appear to have risen much, if at all, over the last two years.

In recent years, the alliance has sought to shift more of the supplies through Central Asian countries north of Afghanistan and Russia, aware of the problems of relying too much on Pakistan, which some argue does not share America’s strategic goals in the region.

There is a risk, albeit small, that militant attacks could one day seriously squeeze supplies. But the overriding concern is that hosting the supply routes gives Islamabad immense leverage in its relationship with Washington. The United States cannot force Pakistan to, say, crack down on militants in the northwest behind attacks in Afghanistan because Islamabad holds a trump card: it can cut off most of the supplies to the war whenever it wants.

Pakistani security forces provide guards for the trucks and tankers in the northwest, but generally do not do so in southern and central Pakistan, where attacks are rarer. Pakistani security officials had warned after two alleged NATO helicopter incursions last weekend that they would stop providing protection to NATO convoys if it happened again.

In Brussels on Friday, Pakistani Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani met with NATO leaders and lodged a formal protest over the border incursions. In Pakistan, government officials said they had to take a stand.

“If the NATO forces keep on entering into Pakistan and carrying out attacks, then (the) only option we have — we should stop the movement of the containers,” Defense Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar said.

Opinion polls show many Pakistanis regard the United States as an enemy, and conspiracy theories abound of U.S. troops wanting to attack Pakistan and take over its nuclear weapons. The Pakistani government has to balance its support for the U.S. war in Afghanistan — and its need for billions of dollars in American aid — with maintaining support from its own population.

The decision to close to the border has underscored the uneasy relations.

Pakistan said two NATO choppers fired on one of its border posts in the northwest’s Kurram tribal region, killing three Pakistani soldiers Thursday. NATO said its helicopters entered Pakistani airspace and hit a target only after receiving ground fire. The alliance expressed condolences to the families of the soldiers and said it would investigate the incident.

It was the third alleged incursion by NATO helicopters into the northwest in the last week.

A lengthy closure of Torkham would place intense strain on the U.S.-Pakistani relationship and hurt the Afghan war effort. But that is seen as unlikely, as neither Islamabad nor Washington can afford a meltdown in ties at a crucial time in the 9-year-old war.

At Torkham, some 150 containers were waiting Friday for the border to reopen. The truck drivers were getting impatient and worried about the prospect of militant attacks.

“I might have not come here with NATO material if I knew that I will have to face this problem,” said Shalif Khan. “We are forced to spend the day and the night in the open. We do not have any security here.”

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Associated Press writer Riaz Khan in Torkham, Pakistan, contributed to this report.

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Musharraf says to return to Pakistan politics

Posted by Admin on October 2, 2010

Musharraf says to return to Pakistan politics ... Fri, Oct 1 06:29 PM

Pakistan’s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf said on Friday he will return to lead a new political party to tackle corruption, revive the sluggish economy and step up the fight against Islamist militants.

Musharraf, who quit office in 2008 to avoid impeachment charges, said he feared the nuclear-armed country could break up without a change of political leadership.

Pakistan is a frontline state in the United States‘ fight against Islamist militancy in the region, but questions about Islamabad’s commitment to the campaign have raised tensions between the two countries.

“When there is a dysfunctional government and the nation is going down and its economy is going down…there is a pressure on the military from the people,” he told BBC radio.

“There is a sense of despondency spreading in Pakistan. We cannot allow Pakistan to disintegrate. So who is the saviour? The army can do it. Nobody else can do it.”

London-based Musharraf, who took power in a military coup in 1999, denied that he faced arrest for treason if he returns to Pakistan, although he said he did fear assassination attempts.

“There is no charge against me, whoever thinks like that doesn’t know the reality,” he said. “There are other dangers.”

Asked when he would return, Musharraf said it would be before the next elections, due by 2013.

“I won’t wait until 2013,” he said. “The stronger I am politically, the more grounds there will be for me to go.”

He warned that a Taliban insurgency could engulf Pakistan unless the government takes a stronger stance.

“If we don’t curb it, there is a possibility that we keep going down and it could end up destroying (the country),” he told BBC radio. “If the armed forces of Pakistan don’t want that, it will never end up destroying Pakistan.”

Musharraf has talked of re-entering politics several times over the past year. Since leaving Pakistan, he has spent most of his time in Britain and the United States.

His popularity waned after he clashed with the judiciary and imposed a six-week stint of emergency rule in 2007 to thwart opposition to his efforts to secure another term. An alliance with the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks was also deeply unpopular with many voters.

Political analyst Hasan Askari Rizvi said Musharraf’s prospects in Pakistani politics were weak — at least for now.

“Traditionally, military rulers have not succeeded in popular politics, including those who went to the opposition,” he said. “He’ll have to come back and demonstrate his support. While sitting in London you can’t really do politics.”

Political commentator Najam Sethi said Musharraf’s new party faced big hurdles.

“Musharraf does have a constituency but since the two mainstream parties, the media and the judiciary are against him, the short-term prospects don’t look good,” he said.

(Reporting by Peter Griffiths in London and Augustine Anthony in Islamabad; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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Earthquake jolts Pakistan, north India

Posted by Admin on September 18, 2010

HINDU_KUSH_REGION,_AFGHANISTAN

Hindu Kush Region N.W.F.P

http://news.oneindia.in/2010/09/18/earth-quake-jolts-north-india-pak.html

Saturday, September 18, 2010, 7:25 [IST]

NEW DELHI: An earthquake hit Afghanistan, Pakistan and north India around midnight on Friday but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties. 

The quake measured 6.3 on the Richter scale, Times Now reported. Hindukush in Afghanistan is said to be the epicentre of the quake. 

The tremor occurred at 12:55am. Tremors were felt in Kashmir Valley and Delhi too.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/Earthquake-jolts-Pakistan-north-India/articleshow/6576019.cms

18 SEP, 2010, 01.48AM IST,TNN

New Delhi, Sep 18: An earthquake hit Afghanistan, Pakistan and north India around midnight on Friday, Sep 17, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualty.

The moderate-intensity quake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale hit the Hindu Kush region and Jammu Kashmir, the IMD’s Seismology Department said.

The department also said mild tremors were also felt in some parts of New Delhi. However there were no reports of any damage.

OneIndia News

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US’s flood aid ‘not enough’ to win over Pakistan

Posted by Admin on August 31, 2010

The mid- to late-1990s seal of the United Stat...

Image via Wikipedia

SUKKUR, Pakistan — US aid pouring into Pakistan’s flood-hit regions is helping reverse widespread anti-American sentiment but will not be enough to win hearts and minds in the long term, experts say.

The United States has been the biggest and the quickest single international floods donor, committing 200 million dollars to help its ally in the fight against Islamist extremism recover from its worst-ever natural disaster.

The United States currently has 22 helicopters rescuing stranded villagers and ferrying relief supplies around the country, with four more on the way, said embassy spokesman Richard Snelsire.

The superpower has been involved in every area of the relief effort, spending its millions mostly through the United Nations, and international and local charity channels, to supply tonnes of food, water, shelter and medicine.

Fifty million dollars has already been diverted from a 7.5-billion-dollar aid package approved by the US Congress last year in a bid to deepen ties with the South Asian nuclear power, a key partner in the fight against Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants.

Victims are grateful for the help but many Pakistanis think it ironic that while the United States is sending tonnes of aid, it is also sending drones to bomb Islamist militant hideouts in the border areas with Afghanistan.

And the gratitude may be short-lived, just as it was after a swell of support from America following Pakistan’s 2005 earthquake that left 73,000 dead, said Pakistan analyst Rahimullah Yusufzai.

“There will be goodwill created, it’s already happening for America and it also happened in October 2005 during the earthquake… but that was for a short while and this is again the fear that it may not last long,” said Yusufzai.

“(Aid) must happen on a long-term basis,” he said. “There’s a changing perception about America but not on such a big scale right now because at the same time America’s helping out they are also bombing Pakistan territory.”

During a visit to Pakistan’s devastated submerged regions last week, head of aid agency USAID Rajiv Shah sought to assure officials that the United States would keep a commitment to help Pakistan in the long term.

But touring the southern city of Sukkur, once a thriving semi-industrial trading post — now reduced to a city of tarpaulin tents providing thin respite from the heat for thousands of families, the scale of the challenge was clear.

“This is going to be very, very difficult, this is a huge-scale disaster,” said Shah. “But we have to continue to be optimistic and look for those opportunities to help Pakistan to use this to build back better.”

The floods have already forced the United States to rethink its spending in Pakistan, after announcing in July a series of water, energy and healthcare projects to improve the country’s dire infrastructure.

The floodwaters have wiped out part of Pakistan’s most fertile agricultural land, damaged roads, bridges, power stations, electricity facilities, hospitals, schools, homes and left millions hungry, setting back longer-term development goals.

Part of the five-year 7.5-billion-dollar non-military programme aimed at securing the strategic relationship between the United States and Pakistan has already been redirected as flood aid.

“Priorities will necessarily have to shift so that there is more of a recovery and reconstruction approach than people were thinking just a few months ago,” Shah told reporters during his trip to Sukkur.

But strategic relationships are no concern for the rural poor who have seen their homes and farms submerged by the waters, and simply welcome food, water and medicine for their short-term survival, regardless of where it comes from.

“We just want aid. Most people don’t care who gives it to us,” said Jan Mohammad, 30, a teacher staying at a US-funded camp in southern Hyderabad with his wife and four children.

“We are grateful that they have come forward to help when our own government is doing little for us. I have no issue with the Americans, whether they are angels or devils. Right now we just need all the help we can get.”

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