US helps Pakistan to look for avalanche survivors

US helps Pakistan to look for avalanche survivorsThe border of India and Pakistan saw one of the worst avalanches in their history, on Saturday. The avalanche has hit and buried one of Pakistan’s army complexes, 135 soldiers and civilians are trapped under a wall of snow.

A team of US soldiers have flown in to Pakistan from Afghanistan to help look for the survivors. US has sent an eight-man high altitude rescue team. This is expected to have an effect on US-Pakistan relations that is not in the best shape right now.

Since, Osama’s capture and death in Pakistan the relations between the two countries exhibit more than subtle distrust. The US embassy made it very clear that they will extend any support that Pakistan asks for. After this, the US team flew in to Islamabad as a part of Nato-led International Security Assistance Force. An US official said “When an ally asks us for help, we are prepared to help.”

Though Pakistan is receiving an increasing amount of help, finding these people is becoming less likely every minute. The avalanche consisted of not just snow but boulders as well. It is said that the avalanche was travelling in such a speed that the complex could have not possibly survived it. If there were at all any survivors among those who were trapped, the decreasing oxygen and lack of water and other supplies puts a real pressure.

General Ashfaq Kayani, the chief army staff had personally flown in to oversee the rescue mission. The army has over 200 people trying to do everything possible to rescue the civilians and soldiers. Heavy machinery has been flown in to dig through snow, mud and boulders.

Since the location is situated at an altitude of 4,572 meters, it complicates the rescue process. Both and India and Pakistan have lost more soldiers to the altitude and the complications that come with it than actual combat. Stationing soldiers and keeping them supplied has not been easy for either of the countries. They spend millions of dollars every year. In 2003, cease fire was declared for that area and it has managed to stay quiet since then.

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