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Pakistan accepts Indian aid offer

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Thank you India! says Pakistan with box of mangoes

Friday, August 20, 2010 11:57:23 PM, IANS

Pakistan accepts Indian aid offer

After dithering for a week, Pakistan today accepted India's offer of USD five million in aid for flood relief in the country and appreciated its "very positive" gesture  »

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday received an unexpected, yet pleasant, gift from Pakistan when a box of choicest mangoes arrived at his office, sent with the best compliments of his counterpart from across the border.

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani sent the delicious shipment to Manmohan Singh, soon after accepting India’s $5 million assistance toward flood relief in Pakistan.

“Yes, we did get the box of mangoes. It was with the best compliments from the people of Pakistan,” a top official at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) told IANS when asked about the fruity gift from across the border.

The box was delivered by the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi.

Incidentally, the luscious king of fruits is the official fruit of both India and Pakistan, and both countries boast of being home to hundreds of varieties, which are popular not just within their countries but internationally as well.

Pakistan’s gesture followed India’s $5 million assistance to Islamabad after large parts of the neighbouring country were hit by the worst-ever floods in decades that have left over 1,600 people dead and affected over 20 million.

Just a few months ago, when relations between the two neighbours were not particularly at their best, with New Delhi saying there was a “trust deficit” between the two nations, Manmohan Singh had sent a 20 kgs of special Alphonso mangoes to Pakistan for Gilani.

Pakistan’s then president Pervez Musharraf, ahead of his visit to India for the 2001 Agra summit, had sent a similar consignment to then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his deputy L.K. Advani.

It is said assassinated prime minister Indira Gandhi, too, had made a similar gesture in the late 1970s.

Pakistani officials announced Friday the country was accepting the Indian offer of $5 million aid for its flood victims, and New Delhi welcomed Islamabad’s stand on what was called a “goodwill gesture of solidarity”.

“I can share with you that the government of Pakistan has agreed to accept the Indian offer (of $5 million aid),” Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told reporters on the sidelines of a session at the UN headquarters in New York.

The decision to accept India’ds assistance came after Manmohan Singh spoke to Gilani Thursday and expressed sorrow and condoled the deaths due to the devastating floods in Pakistan.

In October 2005, after a massive earthquake, India had sent three consignments of relief material to Pakistan and it was the first time Indian Air Force (IAF) planes had landed in Islamabad to deliver the consignment after decades of animosity.




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