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No need for Indian helicopters: Pak PM
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October 11, 2005 21:13 IST

Asserting that it was "well-equipped" and "fully capable" of handling the situation in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake, Pakistan on Tuesday said it did not need any helicopters from India nor was there any necessity for joint relief operations on both sides of the LoC.

"We have enough helicopters. The United States brought in their helicopters and more will come. We are well-equipped now. Helicopters are crucial in first three and four days. Even now they are crucial. But we have enough now," Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz told a press conference in Islamabad.

After talks with Pakistan High Commissioner Aziz Ahmad Khan in New Delhi, India had on Monday announced that a consignment of 25 tonnes of emergency relief supplies, including medicines, blankets, tents and food items, was being sent to Islamabad.

The prime minister said Pakistan was appreciative of the Indian help, as India was when it accepted Pakistan's relief goods in the aftermath of the earthquake in Gujarat.

Pakistan military spokesman Maj Gen Shaukat Sultan, who was also present at the press conference, said the helicopter fleet taking part in the relief operation could be augmented with 24 US choppers which would join shortly. The US has already sent eight large Chinook helicopters.

Asked whether the joint relief operations would help speed up the relief activities in the affected areas close to the LoC, Aziz said, "there is no need for joint operations. Our troops are deployed and fully capable of handling the situation."

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