Pak PM Imran Khan offers “humanitarian aid” to Kerala

New Delhi : Pakistan’s new prime minister Imran Khan has offered to provide “any humanitarian assistance that may be needed” for Kerala where the worst floods in a century has left the state devastated.

The new prime minister who took charge last Saturday in a late evening tweet Thursday said “On behalf of the people of Pakistan, we send our prayers and best wishes to those who have been devastated by the floods in Kerala, India.”

UAE had earlier offered Rs 700 core in aid, but the Centre blocked the help citing a 14-year-old policy that prohibits funds from foreign govt.

It thanked all aid providers including UAE govt and said “In line with the existing policy, the govt is committed to meeting the requirements through domestic efforts,” “Contributions to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund and Chief Minister’s Relief Fund from international entities such as foundations would, however, be welcome,” a statement from the Union govt added.

The 14-year-old policy was laid down by UPA govt after 2004 tsunami disaster when it decided that India will not accept financial aid from foreign governments.

Over 370 people have been killed in Kerala  after torrential rains swelled rivers and breached dam capacities since 9 August. As state witnessed unprecedented flooding in nearly all it’s districts, 14 lakh people were forced to flee homes and nearly all of them continue to live relief camps with their homes still submerged or damaged. Roads, bridges and infrastructure has been broken down at several places with govt putting damage estimates at Rs 20,000 crore.

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