May 27

Pakistani medics help quake relief effort in China

BEIJING: A Pakistani medical team of 28 doctors and paramedics, equipped with a mobile field hospital, will arrive today in Lanzhou, Gansu province to assist quake relief efforts. “Among the 28 medical professionals are orthopedic surgeons and paramedical staff. The team is very well equipped and trained in relief efforts,” Salik Khan, charge d’affaires of the Pakistani Embassy, said at a press briefing yesterday. Meanwhile, the Embassy of Pakistan is organizing a Fundraiser Bazaar for the victims of the Sichuan earthquake, which will be held at the embassy on Saturday. All monies collected at the event will go to the quake relief fund, Khan said.

Taranum Bashir, the wife of Pakistan’s ambassador to China, said at the briefing that Pakistan and China should develop long-term cooperation on disaster management. “After the rescue and relief operations, the next stage will be reconstruction and rehabilitation. Since Pakistan has been through similar disaster, it can provide support to China in this effort,” Bashir said. Pakistan suffered an earthquake in 2005 that killed more than 80,000 people.

The Pakistan Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority will extend all possible assistance to the Chinese relief and reconstruction effort, Bashir said. Four Pakistani planes carrying blankets, 22,000 tents, mineral water and medicine have already arrived in Chengdu and Lanzhou. The Pakistan Red Crescent Society has also donated $50,000 to the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad.

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