India, Pakistan & Iran offer condolences, aid
KABUL (Pajhwok): In separate messages, India, Iran and Pakistan on Saturday conveyed their condolences to President Hamid Karzai over the loss of lives caused by a massive landslide in the northeastern province of Badakhshan.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said: “I’m deeply shocked by the devastating natural disaster that has struck Badakhshan. Our thoughts and prayers are with them in this hour of pain and sorrow.”
In a statement, Singh offered India's assistance in relief and rehabilitation efforts. “India stands ready to provide whatever assistance and support that we can for rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts."
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham expressed grief over the incident and expressed condolences to the Afghan government, people and bereaved families.
Quoting Pakistan’s Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Sharif offered his condolences to the bereaved families and prayed for the well-being of the missing.
“The prime minister has reassured the people of Pakistan stand shoulder to shoulder with their Afghan brethren as they brave this tragic natural disaster,” he added.
Separately, the Commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., and the Deputy NATO Senior Civilian Representative, Mr. Lee Litzenberger, on behalf of the NATO – led ISAF mission expressed their deepest condolences to the victims and families of this ongoing tragedy.
General Dunford said, “Our thoughts are with the people of Afghanistan, and the families who have lost their loved ones in these devastating landslides. ISAF stands ready to provide assistance as requested to the Afghan authorities who are leading the rescue and recovery operations.”
Mr. Lee Litzenberger added: “The priority now is to save as many lives as possible. This is the second natural disaster in a week in Afghanistan to cause substantial loss of live and destruction of Afghan homes and villages. NATO has always stood by its Afghan partners, and we will do so now as they respond to this tragedy."
Over 21,000 people were killed and hundreds went missing on Friday when a massive landslide buried an entire village in the remote northeastern province of Badakhshan.
The mudslide hit the village in the Aab Barik area of Argo district after days of heavy rains. Up to 300 houses in the far-flung area were flattened as a result of the landslide.
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