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China overwhelmed by Pakistan's generous help during earthquake

ISLAMABAD, Jun 20 (APP): The government and the people of China are highly overwhelmed by generous assistance of Pakistan for the quake affectees of Sichuan province. "We are deeply touched and moved by the quick move by the Pakistani side, coming to their rescue," said a spokesman of Chinese embassy Yao Jing here on Friday.

Briefing newsmen on foreign countries' support to China in the wake of devastating earthquake, he said," Pakistan was the first country that extended highly valuable support to the quake victims."

The Chinese people and the media, while recognising foreign participation in the rescue operation found Pakistan as its most trusted and reliable friend coming to their help in the most quick and generous manner, he added.

He said Pakistani gesture was a true sign of friendship and it proved once again that Pak-Sino friendship was time tested and mutually beneficial.

The two countries have always reciprocated in the same manner at the time of need during the last 57 years, said Yao Jing who is also Deputy Chief of Chinese mission in Pakistan.

The earthquake struck the Chinese province of Sichuan on May 12 resulting in death of about 70,000 people. 200,000 were injured, 15,000 went missing and five million were made homeless.

In total, the spokesman said, Pakistan sent in 30,000 tents besides food, life saving drugs and other essential supplies.

The tents not only were provided by the federal government but the governments of Punjab and Azad Kashmir also donated a good number.

Pakistan gave aid in cash of half a million dollars while the total aid was worth $ two million.

A 28 member Pakistani medical team comprising doctors and nurses rushed immediately after the tragedy and treated hundreds of victims in a field hospital.

Chinese President Hu Jintao paid a special visit to the camp of Pakistani doctors and lauded their services.

After a two week stay, the medical team donated all medical equipments for use in the relief operations.

The spokesman pointed out that President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani personally visited the Chinese embassy to condole with the ambassador over the natural disaster.

Yao Jing read out messages posted by Chinese citizens on the internet to express their sentiments of gratitude for Pakistan government and the people.

As reports came in of Pakistan's vital and timely assistance to their Chinese brethren, millions of Chinese outpoured their sentiments in online messages thanking Pakistan for its contribution. Most of the messages were posted in Chinese language.

The spokesman said the commonman in China saw the help of their neighbour with high regard, citing it as a best example of bilateral relationship.

One of the messages said that in future China would make more efforts for development and progress of Pakistan.

This was reflective of a long tradition as one Chinese saying goes, "if I have accepted a drop of water, I have to reciprocate with a spring and a fountain."

One person commented that Chinese people should extend the same level of support to the Pakistani contingent during the Beijing Olympics as it will to the Chinese teams.

Pakistani athletes should get a standing ovation when they enter the stadium at the inaugural ceremony of the games, another citizen proposed, that was being endorsed by thousands of other Chinese people through e-mail messages.

The prompt assistance also grabbed the attention of Chinese media and several articles and news reports appeared in print admitting that Pakistan through its aid and display of affection once again proved that China as always can rely on its brothers and sisters in time of need.

People in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province visited the Pakistani Consulate Office to express their feelings of appreciation.

The relief and rescue mission in the quake-affected areas is almost complete and the government attention has now shifted to the rehabilitation activities, the spokesman added.

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