| GEO Pakistan|
Flood death toll set for major rise: Haroon
| Updated at: 0126 PST, Saturday, September 04, 2010|
UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan's ambassador to the United Nations on Friday predicted a major increase in the death toll from the country's devastating floods.
The official death toll is now 1,760, Ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon said many more were known to have died and that more were dying each day.
Haroon, grandson of one of Pakistan's independence leaders, spoke at UN headquarters in New York, in an unusual joint appearance with Rajmohan Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, who led the movement that brought independence to India before Pakistan broke away.
The ambassador said the toll had not changed recently because "the government has stopped counting. We don't know how many are just lying there. And what is particularly sad are the people who are going to die."
He described the current toll as the "the tip of the iceberg. The worst is yet to come. People are still drinking the water and scrounging for food."
Pakistan authorities and the United Nations have sought to reignite international attention on the disaster as aid levels have fallen off in recent days. The ambassador said Pakistan still desperately needs helicopters and emergency supplies.
Rajmohan Gandhi spoke at the press conference to urge Indians to show solidarity and for the two neighbors to use the disaster to put their decades of rivalry behind them.
"We have to use this present tragedy to take advantage of an opportunity" to improve relations, Gandhi said. "The Indian heart can do more and the Indian nation can do much more" to help the neighboring country, he added.
Torrential monsoon rains triggered widespread flooding across much of Pakistan and an estimated eight million people are reliant on handouts to survive, according to aid agencies.