Taliban urges Pakistan to refuse international aid


Peshawar : Taliban militants asked the government of Pakistan Wednesday to boycott the international relief assistance for flood victims.

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The call came as the UN announced a formal appeal for a “few hundred million dollars” Wednesday for more relief to help over 14 million flood-affected people in Pakistan.

The floods caused by unprecedented monsoon rains have killed more than 1,600 people and displaced hundreds of thousands.

Azam Tariq, a spokesman for Tahrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, the umbrella organisation of about a dozen militant groups, Wednesday asked Pakistan to refuse aid as it comes from enemies of Islam.

“The Pakistani government and the flood victims should refuse to accept the international aid. All the assistance that is coming is from the Christians and Jews, which are the enemies of Islam,” Tariq told DPA over the phone from an undisclosed location.

Azam promised to “provide $20 million for flood victims if the Pakistani government does not take international aid”, and said people should be warned that the “infidels” wanted to enslave Pakistanis by providing the aid.

A UN spokesman, Maurizio Giuliano, urged the international community to provide more assistance quickly.

“We have received promises of $140 million as of last night,” he told the media Wednesday.

The United States government is leading the donors as it has already announced $55 million for Pakistani flood victims.

Taliban militants hiding along the Afghanistan border have waged a bombing campaign in Pakistan, targeting civilians and security personnel.

They also frequently cross the border into Afghanistan to fight the NATO-led international troops there.

The militants are apparently disturbed by the aid from the Western governments, as it could damage their anti-West platform which they use to recruit militants to fight against the US and NATO troops.