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US to supply aid to Pakistan from Afghan bases
October 11, 2005 20:22 IST
The United States military helicopters flew from their base in Afghanistan on Tuesday to bring much needed supplies to earthquake-devastated regions of neighbouring Pakistan and ferry injured people to hospitals.
At the same time, the US air force aircraft were being loaded with 30 pallets of food, water, medicine and blankets at Bagram airfield to be flown in later. Twelve pallets of supplies, weighing 41,000 kilogrammes and rescue personnel were already flown in from Bagram on Monday. The helicopters were re-supplying American military rescue crews and helicopters that flew to Pakistan on Monday, said Bagram spokesman Liuetenant Colonel Jerry O'Hara.
"Bagram is an enabling force to support the guys in Pakistan," O'Hara told The Associated Press. "The re-supply will be ongoing the entire time we're there, that won't stop." The US has pledged up to $ 50 million in support, and President George W Bush on Sunday said he told Pakistan's President General Pervez Musharraf, "We want to help in any way we can."
Afghanistan, itself a major recipient of international aid, sent four military helicopters and one plane on Tuesday with four tonnes of medicine, 20 tonnes of dried food, and aid teams including 34 doctors and nurses. Other nations, including Germany, Great Britain, Turkey already have personnel on the ground helping in the search for survivors and treating the wounded.
Pakistan also said it would accept aid from its longtime rival India, which promised tents, food and medicine. However, Islamabad declined an offer of helicopters and has ruled out a joint rescue operation along the disputed frontier.