Pakistan PM cancels trip to UN due to floods

Yusuf Raza Gilani cancels trip to New York to co-ordinate aid efforts as floods leave more than 200,000 people homeless.

    Heavy rains have flooded large parts of the southern Sindh province, leaving more than 200,000 people homeless [AFP]

    Pakistan's prime minister has cancelled his attendance at next week's UN General Assembly session in New York, saying he needed to co-ordinate flood relief efforts at home.

    Yusuf Raza Gilani said he will visit flood-affected areas starting on Saturday, said a statement from his office.

    Gilani said Pakistan's foreign minister will address the assembly in his place.

    Monsoon rains have flooded large parts of the southern Sindh province over the last six weeks, leaving more than 200,000 people homeless.

    Pakistan's leaders came under criticism last year for failing to deal with floods that affected more than a quarter of the country's territory.

    Local authorities, the United Nations, and foreign and local aid groups are distributing water, medicine and food, while the army is rescuing people from communities trapped by the waters.

    But many thousands have received little or no help and are living in the open under rainy skies or scorching sun.

    Last year's floods affected most areas of the country, including Sindh, and prompted a large international relief effort.

    Just as international media interest in the story was peaking, Zardari was filmed arriving at a family-owned chateaux in France by helicopter, adding fuel to a blaze of criticism at home and abroad over the government's response to the disaster.

    This year, media coverage of the disaster has been more muted, but the government has still come under some criticism.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.