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Last Updated: Friday, 21 October 2005, 16:06 GMT 17:06 UK
Nato agrees to quake deployment
Quake victims in Balakot
Emergency help is desperately needed for remote areas
Nato has agreed to send between 500 and 1,000 soldiers to help the earthquake relief effort in Pakistan.

The deployment includes a battalion of engineers, some medics and a small number of helicopters, Nato officials in Brussels said.

Pakistan says about 50,000 people died in the quake and three million lack adequate shelter.

Earlier President Pervez Musharraf said foreign aid pledged for reconstruction was "totally inadequate".

Nato sources told the BBC the main task for its troops, including a battalion of engineers from Italy, Poland and Spain, would be to help in clearing roads badly damaged by the earthquake.

The BBC's defence correspondent, Rob Watson, says when the troops arrive is still being worked out, but it is likely to be sooner rather than later.

The 26-member alliance is also planning to send what it calls a mobile medical unit to supplement UN hospitals that have already been set up.

It has already flown tonnes of supplies to Pakistan donated by the UN, Nato member states and other countries.

A homeless Kashmiri girl evacuated to Islamabad
Disasters Emergency Committee (UK)
World Food Programme
Kashmir International Relief Fund
Red Cross/ Red Crescent

Nato says flights are likely to increase in the coming days thanks to promises from the US and Britain to provide more transport planes.

Finding much-needed helicopters may prove more problematic, our correspondent says.

The UN emergency relief chief Jan Egeland had asked Nato to stage a massive airlift of those without shelter, on the scale of the Berlin airlift in the 1940s.

But a Nato source told Reuters: "There is no question of the alliance doing that. That was Berlin after World War Two and this is Pakistan now - there is absolutely no comparison."

Mr Egeland says the quake is the worst logistical nightmare the UN has ever faced.

The UN says the shortfall in aid has made the relief situation worse than after last December's tsunami.

Mr Egeland has said only $86m has been pledged of the $312m the UN has asked for to fund the relief operation - and far less actually received in cash.

And in an interview with the BBC, Gen Musharraf said about $620m had been promised for reconstruction but that Pakistan needed about $5bn to rebuild devastated areas.

Pakistan has confirmed 49,739 deaths, most of them in Pakistani-administered Kashmir. India says more than 1,400 have died in the sector of Kashmir it administers.

Kashmir dispute

The US has said more of its helicopters will arrive in Pakistan next week, giving a significant boost to the 60 operating in the region.

The tragedy is colossal, the damage unfathomable
Mahwesh Mumtaz, Islamabad

Neighbouring India has also offered to send helicopters, but Pakistan insisted they be provided without Indian crews, which India has refused to do.

India and Pakistan have fought two wars over the disputed territory Kashmir, one of the regions worst-hit by the quake.

Gen Musharraf recently proposed opening the line of control between the two Kashmirs, but so far there have been no signs of the proposal being put into practice.

The Indian government says it is awaiting suggestions for the practical implementation of the offer.

Mr Egeland has urged the two countries to set aside differences over Kashmir and "work out a compromise immediately" to speed aid across the line of control dividing the disputed region.


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