M A I N   N E W S

Five Indians airlifted from PoK

Chakala Airbase (Pakistan), October 12
Five Indians from Jammu and Kashmir, who were in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK)  when the earthquake hit the region, were airlifted to Islamabad today. The five Sikhs headed by Avtar Singh were received by Indian High Commissioner Shiv Shankar Menon and Deputy Indian High Commissioner C.K.A. Raghavan here.

They were identified as Kirpal Singh, Jarmeet Singh, Gurucharan Singh and Surmik Singh — who went to Muzaffarabad by the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus on October 6.

While one of the passengers on the bus identified as Basti Ram Tandon died in the October 8 quake, The whereabouts of others on the bus is not known. — PTI



Musharraf all praise for Manmohan

Islamabad, October 12
Deeply appreciating Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s gesture of calling him to express grief over the massive earthquake that struck Pakistan, President Pervez Musharraf today thanked him for dispatching aid. Making a special mention of the Indian Prime Minister in his address to the nation tonight, Musharraf said Singh called him and offered all possible assistance. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh “was very kind to ring me up and offer all possible assistance”, he said. “We express our gratitude to him and we have accepted Indian aid in certain form.” Significantly, Singh was the only leader whom Musharraf mentioned by name. — PTI



Indian plane in PoK with relief

Islamabad, October 12
India today joined the international aid efforts for earthquake victims in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) by flying a plane-load of relief material and said it was ready to despatch more consignment at short notice.

An Indian cargo plane carrying the first consignment of 25 tonnes of relief supplies landed in Islamabad in the wee hours of today, becoming the first Indian relief aircraft to land here since the 1971 Indo-Pak war.

IAF’s Ilyushin-76 aircraft, loaded with 15,000 blankets, 50 tents, plastic sheets, mattresses, food items and a variety of medicines and medical supplies landed at the airport in Islamabad at 2:45 am, Indian embassy sources said in Islamabad.

Indian High Commissioner to the country Shiv Shankar Menon and senior Indian diplomats formally received the relief supplies and handed it over to Pakistani officials.

As the plane returned to New Delhi, Indian Air Force (IAF) officials said they were ready to despatch another supply to Pakistan.

Assistant Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal S C Mukul said “We have been asked by the government to be ready to fly out another consignment”.

Air Marshal Mukul said the IAF was making efforts to airlift the body of a resident of Jammu who died in Muzaffarabad in Saturday’s quake and his two injured family members. The three had gone to PoK by the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus to visit a relative.

Aid has poured in from across the world following Saturday’s massive earthquake, which killed tens of thousands of people in the North Western Province of Pakistan (NWFP) and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).

President Pervez Musharraf had sought international help in terms of medicines, blankets, tents and helicopters to cope with one of the biggest tragedies in history.

Expressing distress at the extensive loss of life and property in Pakistan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had offered rescue and relief assistance to deal with the crises.

India had also offered to help in badly-affected places along the Line of Control on the Pakistani side which are easier to access from Jammu and Kashmir.


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