Pakistan quake brings U.S., Iranian airmen together

October 14th, 2005  

Topic: Pakistan quake brings U.S., Iranian airmen together

Pakistan quake brings U.S., Iranian airmen together

Reuters ^ | 13 Oct 2005

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Old distrust was put aside at a Pakistani airfield on Thursday when U.S. airmen jumped in to help unload an Iranian military plane that flew in with a mobile hospital for victims of a massive earthquake.

An international airlift is underway to help some 2.5 million people made homeless and an estimated 50,000 injured in the 7.6 earthquake and teams from across Europe, the Middle East, China, Japan and the United States are part of the effort.

"We're all here for the same cause -- to help the people of Pakistan," said Lieutenant Erick Saks from an U.S. air force emergency response squad based at the Maguire Airfield in New Jersey.

At least 23,000 people perished in the mountainous areas of Pakistani Kasmhir and North West Frontier Province, and the scale of the disaster is too great for Pakistan to manage alone.

The Pakistani army at Rawalpindi's military air base, just outside the capital, Islamabad, was unable to help get the very large vehicle off the Iranian plane and U.S. airmen didn't hesitate to help, regardless of the deteriorating ties between Tehran and Washington over Iran's nuclear programme.

"They were working side by side. It's the end result that matters," said Saks.

Iranians present were wary of giving their names, but expressed similar sentiments.

"It is help for Pakistan and not for the U.S ... These (Americans) are aid workers and they help anybody. They don't differentiate between Pakistanis, Iranians and others," said an Iranian diplomat watching the plane's arrival.

"I am not authorised to speak... but personally I have no problem with the United States," one of the crew on the plane told Reuters.
October 15th, 2005  
Wow, but Iranians and Americans are enemy. I understand they are helping Pakistani.