Taliban urges Pakistan to reject foreign flood aid
Pakistan's Taliban have denounced all foreign aid for victims of the country's catastrophic flooding and said they can match the latest United States pledge of $US20 million.
"We condemn American and other foreign aid and believe it will lead to subjugation. Our jihad against America will continue," said spokesman for the group, Azam Tariq.
"The government should not accept American aid and if it happens. We can give $20 million to them as aid for the flood victims.
"We will ourselves distribute relief under leadership of our chief Hakimullah Mehsud among the people if the government assures us that none of our members will be arrested."
The floods have been the most devastating in the Taliban's stronghold in the north-west.
The United Nations say the floods have left 6 million people dependent on humanitarian help for their survival.
The US announced it would increase its flood aid by another $US20 million to $US55 million, while the UN says it would launch an international appeal for several hundred million dollars.
The world body believes 1,600 people have died in the floods while the Pakistani government has confirmed 1,243 deaths.
US aid so far has included 436,000 halal meals and 12 pre-fabricated bridges, while the White House said US helicopters had helped to save more than 1,000 lives in Pakistan.
But critics say the official relief effort has been woefully slow and Islamic charities have been stepping into the breach.
Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari is back home after receiving massive criticism for not cutting short a visit to Britain and France, although it was unclear if he would visit flood-hit areas.
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