Pakistan Returns ‘Unparalleled’ Cuban Favor

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Pakistan will donate 15,000 tons of rice to Cuba as way of thanks for the humanitarian care provided by Cuba after the 2005 earthquake in Kashmir, TeleSur reports.

In an expression of thanks, Pakistan will donate 15,000 tons of rice to Cuba as the Caribbean nation continues to suffer from one of its worst droughts in 115 years.

With more than 70 percent of the Caribbean island’s territory affected by either “severe” or “extreme” drought dependent on location, Cuban rice production is expected to reach just 60 percent of the amount required to satisfy national consumption.

The decision by Islamabad to assist Cuba is a response to the latter’s humanitarianism during the deadly 2005 earthquake that devastated Kashmir, killing over 86,000 people and displacing an estimated 2.8 million.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced the support Wednesday during a ceremony attended by Cuban ambassador to Pakistan, Gabriel Tiel Capote.

“Pakistan and Cuba have enjoyed longstanding cooperation based on respect and understanding,” Prensa Latina report Sharif to have said in an official document.

“We recognize Cuba as a proven friend that has stayed by our side in tough times,” Sharif also said in a separate message published on the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

During the 2005 earthquake, Cuba dispatched 2,400 medical staff to Pakistan, setting up 30 hospitals in the field and sending tons of medical equipment to the country. Over 600,000 consultations and 5,900 surgeries were performed by Cuban humanitarian teams in 44 different locations, resulting in at least 1,300 lives being saved.

“That example of sincerity, care and friendship towards Pakistan has few parallels in modern history,” said Sharif.

Pakistan’s humanitarian efforts follow a strengthening of ties between the two countries since the 2005 earthquake, with bilateral ties being developed in agriculture, higher education, industry and science.

Since 2005, Cuba has also granted over 1,000 medical scholarships to the South Asian country, resulting in many qualified doctors returning to Pakistan to ply their trade.

For the original report go to–20151224-0013.html

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