Pakistani prime minister says earthquake relief cooperation strengthening ties with India

Pakistan's prime minister said Sunday that cooperation with India on earthquake relief is strengthening relations between the two nuclear rivals.

India has shipped food, tents, blankets and other material to Pakistan, where much of the damage is concentrated, Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said on CNN's "Late Edition."

"We welcome their cooperation," he said.

The Oct. 8 quake killed an estimated 54,000, relief officials said, and cold and wet conditions were likely to cause deaths among the estimated 2 million left homeless by the disaster.

"I think this is a good neighborly attitude," Aziz said of Indian cooperation. "As the confidence-building measures between the two countries and the peace process moves ahead, all these measures become confidence-building measures themselves."

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since gaining independence from Britain in 1947, though relations have warmed recently.

Pakistan is still in need of more tents, Aziz said, especially as snow and rain begin to fall.

His country has created two separate agencies to deal with the quake aftermath, he said: one for rescue and relief and one for rehabilitation and reconstruction, AP reported. V.A.

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