| GEO Pakistan|
Pakistani Americans call for more flood aid
| Updated at: 0409 PST, Saturday, August 21, 2010|
WASHINGTON: The Pakistani American community is asking the US government to step up assistance in the wake of major floods, calling it a key opportunity to improve the US image in the priority country.
While the United States on Thursday nearly doubled aid to 150 million dollars, a coalition of groups representing the half million-strong Pakistani American community proposed a series of additional gestures.
They asked for President Barack Obama to push ahead a long-mooted proposal to give preferential access to Pakistani textiles -- a key export hit hard by floods -- and to forgive Pakistan's 1.5 billion dollars in debt to Washington.
"The intentions are great, but more needs to be done," Mahera Rahman, executive director of the Council on Pakistan Relations, told media on Friday.
"With anti-Americanism so rampant in Pakistan, it's a great opportunity to show Pakistanis that the US cares for them," she said.
The Pakistani American groups said that one pressing priority was for the United States to deploy additional helicopters to Pakistan to ferry in supplies and rescue victims.