- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
- John Boehner says GOP should support gay candidates: ‘I do’
- Grass-Whopper: Pan-fried cricket burgers go over big in New York City
Flood aid helps U.S. ties with Pakistan
Image takes hit under Obama
Question of the Day
Pakistan’s worst flash floods in decades, which have left more than 1,500 people dead, have provided an opportunity for the Obama administration to repair the tattered image of the U.S. with a crucial ally.
“We’ve been working hard over the past year to build a partnership with the people of Pakistan, and this is an essential element of that partnership: reaching out and helping each other in times of need,” said Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Six Army aircraft — four CH-47 Chinook helicopters and two UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopters — arrived at Ghazi air base in Pakistan on Wednesday. The aircraft are lifting hundreds of people out of danger and providing critical supplies.
The helicopters were sent at Pakistan’s request and will be operated in partnership with the government in Islamabad.
A Pew Global Attitudes Project survey released last week found that President Obama received the lowest ratings in Pakistan than in any other nation polled this year. Only 17 percent of Pakistanis had a favorable opinion of the U.S. and 61 percent had a negative view of Americans.
In a sign of respect to Muslim sentiments, the Obama administration is providing hundreds of thousands of halal meals to those affected by the floods.
The U.S. also has provided boats to help with search-and-rescue missions, water purification units and temporary bridges to replace those damaged by the floods.
In providing relief for flood victims, U.S. officials are mindful that if they fail, they will create a space to be filled by militant groups.
The charitable arms of militant groups in Pakistan often outpaced the Islamabad government in relief efforts after a 7.6. magnitude earthquake in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir in 2005. As a consequence, the militants’ popularity soared.
Some relief workers privately express concerns that such groups could try once again to exploit the situation if it is not properly managed by Pakistan’s government.
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari earned the ire of some in his country by going ahead with trips to Paris and London this week despite the tragedy unfolding in his homeland.
Meanwhile, a Taliban suicide bomber struck in Peshawar on Wednesday near the center of the flooding. The chief of a paramilitary police force and his three bodyguards were killed in the attack.
Mrs. Clinton condemned the attack, saying such violence “is abhorrent at any time, but especially at this time of crisis for the Pakistani people.”
More than 3 million people have been affected by the floods, which struck last week.
According to relief and rescue workers on the ground, thousands of people are trapped and an unknown number are missing.
Stephen Cohen, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said the floods provide “another opportunity to demonstrate our concern for the Pakistani people, as in the earthquake” in 2005 that killed nearly 80,000 people.
Chinooks that carried aid to quake victims were fondly dubbed “Angels of Mercy” by Pakistanis.
Mr. Cohen said Pakistanis’ opinion of the U.S. improved as a result of that assistance.
The U.S. has a history of working with the Pakistani government to respond to natural disasters.
“In the aftermath of the earthquake in 2005, the United States provided hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to help millions of survivors. Today, we’re continuing that tradition,” Mrs. Clinton said.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
- U.S. teacher shot dead in Benghazi after al Qaeda call for violence
- Syria nightmare: Fresh fears about al Qaeda fighters there returning home as sleeper terrorists
- Iran official: Sanctions 'utterly failed' to stop nuclear program
- China accuses Japan of raising tensions over new air defense zone
- Joe Biden meets Xi Jinping in China to try to defuse tensions on air defense zone
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- Colorado judge: Bakery owner discriminated against gay couple
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Rush Limbaugh: Obama trying to make Mandela death about himself
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- Obamas call to close Vatican embassy is 'slap in the face' to Roman Catholics
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
Inside the sport of hockey from a scout’s perspective
Classical music and the performing arts: news and reviews you can use.
For moms, dads, kids, tech heads, travelers, kitchen mavens and everyone else on your holiday gift list
White House pets gone wild!