Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi 'saddened' by Pakistan flood devastation

More than 1,100 killed in devastating floods caused by highest rainfall in three decades

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his sadness over the “devastation” caused by flooding in neighbouring Pakistan which has claimed more than 1,100 lives since June.

The floods were sparked by Pakistan's highest rainfall in three decades, with villages in the mountainous north cut off and the southern province of Sindh deluged.

More than 1,300 people have been injured and 33 million affected — one seventh of the country's population.

“Saddened to see the devastation caused by the floods in Pakistan,” Mr Modi wrote on Twitter.

“We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, the injured and all those affected by this natural calamity and hope for an early restoration of normalcy.”

The relationship between New Delhi and Islamabad is usually frosty and has been particularly strained in recent years. The two countries have fought three wars since gaining independence from Britain in 1947.

The nations were on the brink of another war in February 2019 after India launched air strikes inside Pakistan over claims that a militant group backed by Islamabad was behind a suicide bombing which killed 41 Indian paramilitary soldiers in the disputed Kashmir region.

The Indian Express newspaper reported that New Delhi was discussing extending aid to Islamabad but a decision had yet to be made.

India sent aid to Pakistan after a devastating earthquake in 2005 and floods in 2010.

New Delhi declined Pakistan's offer of medical aid to help the nation during the Covid-19 crisis in 2021.

Heavy rain has been falling on much of Pakistan since mid-June, which Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman has called the “monster monsoon of the decade”.

The flooding has wreaked havoc, washing away roads, crops, bridges and infrastructure and costing the country’s economy an estimated $10 billion.

The Indus, which flows through Pakistan's second-most populous region, is fed by dozens of mountain tributaries to the north, many of which have burst their banks after record rainfall and glacier melt.

International aid agencies are providing emergency relief and President Sheikh Mohamed said the UAE would send 3,000 tonnes of food and medical supplies.

The US Agency for International Development on Tuesday announced an additional $30 million in humanitarian assistance to support flooded areas.

More than 1,100 people have been killed in India this year, after the severe monsoon sparked flooding and landslides, Mr Modi's government has said.

Updated: August 30, 2022, 3:26 PM
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