Pakistan thanks Iran for flood assistance

TEHRAN, Sept. 5 (MNA) -- Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has expressed his profound gratitude to the Iranian government and people for providing help to the flood-stricken people of his country.

Zardari made the remarks in a meeting with visiting Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar in Islamabad on Saturday.

“Iran was one of the first countries that rushed to deliver aid to the flood-stricken people in Pakistan,” Zardari told the Iranian interior minister.

Najjar said the Islamic Republic will do everything it can to help the Pakistanis who were affected by the floods.

So far, Iran has sent over 500 tons of humanitarian assistance to Pakistan, including tents, blankets, medicine, and food.

Najjar also expressed his condolences to the Pakistani government over the death of a number of people in Quetta and Lahore in recent suicide attacks.

According to Pakistani police officials, 59 people were killed and nearly 200 more were wounded in three suicide bombings targeting Shia Muslims last week.

On Friday, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani also held talks with the Iranian interior minister and the Leader’s special representative to Pakistan, Hojjatoleslam Mohammad-Hassan Rahimian.

In the meeting, Gilani thanked Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for their concern over the natural disaster in Pakistan.

Najjar also conveyed to Gilani the condolence messages of the Leader and the president over the devastating floods and said Iran is ready to send more humanitarian assistance to Pakistan.

The floods have ruined 3.6 million hectares (8.9 million acres) of fertile farmland, and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said farmers urgently need seeds to plant for next year’s crops.

The Pakistani government’s official death toll from the floods has reached 1,760, but disaster officials have said that number will likely rise “significantly” when the missing are accounted for.

During his visit, the Iranian interior minister also met with a number of Pakistani Shia scholars and called on all the world’s Muslims to increase their unity in order to stand up to the hegemonistic powers.

EP/AM/HG
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MNA

News Code 41689

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