New Delhi, August 24, News24 Bureau: Once again Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has extended an olive branch. Pak PM on Thursday extended his condolences for the devastating floods that have ravaged Kerala. Newly elected Pakistan PM on several occasions has expressed his desire to thaw the ice between the two neighbouring countries.
Taking to his official Twitter account, Khan said, "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."
Messages of condolences have come from several world leaders for the flood-hit state. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has issued a similar statement to PM Narendra Modi on Monday where he conveyed the island nation's "readiness to provide any assistance."But India is accepting funds that is being sent only through the Prime Minister's Relief Fund or the Chief Minister's relief fund. Addressing a presser, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson, Raveesh Kumar expressed gratitude towards countries offering financial help but said India will not change its existing foreign policy.
"In line with the existing policy, the Government is committed to meeting the requirements for relief and rehabilitation through domestic efforts. Contributions to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund and the Chief Minister's Relief Fund from NRIs, PIOs and international entities such as foundations would, however, be welcome," Kumar said.Meanwhile, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan urged the government to accept foreign aid, saying, "if Government of another country voluntarily offers assistance as a goodwill gesture in solidarity with the disaster victims, the central Government may accept the offer."
The controversy had started when India had denied financial aid to the tune of Rs 700 crore sanctioned by the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates, Shaik Mohammed Bin Sayid Al Nahyan. In today's statement, UAE has said that nothing is official yet and that no amount has been announced.
Kerala CM Vijayan, HM Rajnath Singh and Defence Minister Sitharaman conducted a review of the relief camps set up by authorities in the state, where nearly a million people are currently seeking shelter.