For Kerala, Now Pakistan PM Imran Khan Offers "Humanitarian Assistance"

237 people have been killed since August 8 and over 14 lakh displaced after days of torrential rain earlier this month.

For Kerala, Now Pakistan PM Imran Khan Offers 'Humanitarian Assistance'

Imran Khan took oath as Pakistan prime minister last Saturday

Highlights

  • We send our prayers and best wishes, said Imran Khan
  • 237 people have been killed since August 8 and over 14 lakh displaced
  • Centre maintains it won't accept financial help from other countries
New Delhi:

Pakistan's new prime minister Imran Khan has offered to provide "any humanitarian assistance that may be needed" for Kerala, that has been devastated by floods.

Imran Khan, who took oath as Pakistan's 22nd prime minister last Saturday, tweeted on Thursday evening to say, "On behalf of the people of Pakistan, we send our prayers and best wishes to those who have been devastated by the floods in Kerala, India."

"We stand ready to provide any humanitarian assistance that may be needed," he added.

237 people have been killed since August 8 and over 14 lakh displaced after days of torrential rain in Kerala earlier this month. The state has incurred losses estimated around Rs 20,000 crore. Though the Kerala government had asked for Rs 2,600 for immediate relief, the centre has allocated Rs 600 crore so far.

The centre maintains that it will not accept financial help for Kerala from other countries. "In line with existing policy, the government of India is committed to meeting the requirements for relief and rehabilitation through domestic efforts," the foreign ministry said in a statement last night. 

The government's clarification came after the United Arab Emirates offered Rs 700 crore for flood-ravaged Kerala, and reports said Qatar and Maldives had also offered to help.

After his controversial election victory last month, Imran Khan had said Pakistan was ready to respond positively to any effort towards dialogue with India. "If India comes and takes one step towards us, we will take two," said the cricket legend-turned-politician, who had targeted India throughout his campaign for last month's election.

PM Modi had phoned him after his election victory and spoken about "peace and development" in the region.

After former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's death, the new Pakistani prime minister had also said the two countries could honour the veteran BJP leader's legacy by establishing peace.

(Kerala has to rebuild itself after the worst floods in over a century. Hundreds have died and lakhs are homeless. Here is how you can help.)