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India, Pakistan leaders discuss disaster-preparedness
April 30, 2015, 6:15 am

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in New Delhi on May 26, 2014 [Xinhua]

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in New Delhi on May 26, 2014 [Xinhua]

Raising hopes of a thaw in relations between the two south Asian nations, Indian and Pakistani Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif on Thursday discussed disaster preparedness in the region.

Pakistan’s Premier Sharif had a telephone conversation with Modi following the devastating Nepal earthquake that also affected parts of India.

Both India and Pakistan have sent rescue and relief teams to the neighbouring Himalayan country. The death toll from the magnitude-7.8 earthquake that hit Nepal on Saturday has crossed 5500.

“I suggested to PM Sharif that SAARC nations should conduct regular joint exercises on disaster relief & rescue. SAARC Nations can come together & hold annual exercises of rescue teams, doctors etc on how we can minimise damage during natural disasters,” tweeted the Indian Prime Minister on Thursday referring to South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

The UN has appealed for $415 million in aid for Nepal to help provide emergency relief.

India and Pakistan are at high risk of a similar disaster due to the activity of the tectonic faults underneath them and their lack of preparation, according to expert groups.

Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, called off peace talks with Pakistan in August last year and clashes along stretches of their border have been erupting intermittently since October.

India and Pakistan have fought four wars since gaining their independence from Britain in 1947.

 

TBP

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