Al-Qaeda attacks Flood Response (and much more)
Ayman al-Zawahri, the AQ second-in-command has released a 44 minute audio recording which, among other issues, accuses the US and Pakistani governments of a poor response to catastrophic flooding.
“The primary concern of the ruling class in the government and army of Pakistan is filling their domestic and foreign bank accounts with dollars, and as far as they are concerned, Pakistan and its people can go to hell,” he said.
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Flood Aid Delay Hurts Terror Fight
Any delay in the rehabilitation of flood affectees could impact socio-economic and political environment, thus restricting the country’s efforts to curb the menace of terrorism, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said on Wednesday.
The PM suggested that the World Bank could make a global appeal to mobilise financial support for Pakistan.
“Pakistan is facing the biggest human and economic crisis in history because of the devastating floods and it is beyond any single country’s capacity to meet a challenge of such magnitude,” he said, adding that the country was simultaneously fighting the war against terrorism as a frontline state in the interest of international peace and prosperity.
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Militant Groups More Generous to Flood Survivors
During Eid, the government made the offer to farmers with 10 hectares or fewer to facilitate the planting of the wheat crop, the country’s staple food source,
But Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation, the charitable offshoot of the Lashkar-i-Taiba, an anti-India militant group believed responsible for the November 2008 terrorist attacks on Mumbai, and similar groups have offered farmers loans repayable only if the borrower can afford it. It has also undertaken to ensure food is supplied to farmers until the crop is harvested in April and May.
The foundation decided to make loans in kind because of concerns that farmers would spend cash on food and medicines, activists said.
Farmers constitute about 80 per cent of the 21 million people the Pakistani government says have been affected by the flooding, sparked by monsoon storms in late July.
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After Action Along the Indus
Over the course of this week, the BBC’s Aleem Maqbool is following the path of the destruction caused by the Pakistani floods by travelling the length of the country on the mighty Indus river.
In the first instalment of his diary, he begins his journey in the north-western Swat valley, going from north to south through Fatehpur, Kanju, Mingora and Gatzai. He will finish it in the southern province of Sindh. Along the way he will see first-hand how local people have coped with the damage.
Drones Kill 15 in North Waziristan
Two suspected U.S. drone strikes killed 15 alleged militants in Pakistan’s tribal region Wednesday, Pakistani intelligence officials said.
They were the latest in a series of aerial assaults targeted at insurgents in North Waziristan, one of seven districts in Pakistan’s volatile tribal region bordering Afghanistan.
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