Erdogan criticizes Muslim countries for reluctance to help Pakistan
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticized oil-rich Muslim countries for their slowness and reluctance to send humanitarian aid to flood-stricken Pakistan. According to the prime minister, member countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) have pledged to send only $1 billion to Pakistan. "What is the Muslim world, who say they own oil resources, doing? How much of their oil have they sent to Pakistan? I do not want them to get offended. But it was not they who discovered the oil resources. The resources are a blessing," he stated during a symposium in Istanbul on Sunday. Pakistan was hit by torrential monsoon rains last month that triggered the country's worst natural disaster on record. Floods destroyed villages, bridges and roads and killed up to 1,600 people. More than 4 million have been displaced by flooding, and there is widespread concern about the country's recovery. Erdogan said the suffering in Pakistan cannot be described in words. "It is not possible to comprehend the suffering there while sitting here. Monetary aid of $100, 200, 500 million or $1 billion will not settle the problems in Pakistan. More than 17 million people have been adversely affected and thousands of people have been killed," he noted. He urged Muslim countries to increase their efforts in sending more humanitarian aid for people in need in Pakistan, pledging that Turkey will continue its aid efforts in that country. "As the Turkish state we are doing what we should. Beyond sending a significant sum of money to Pakistan, we are helping the country to rebuild itself," the prime minister added.