Terrorists have struck again in Peshawar, Pakistan. A suicide bomber killed the chief of Pakistan's Frontier Constabulary and 2 others in an attack outside his office. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. The northwestern capital of Peshawar has been on the frontline of a Taliban and Al-Qaida-linked bombing campaign that has killed more than 3,500 people in the last 3 years. Pakistan has committed thousands of troops to fighting Al Qaida and the Taliban, and has lost hundreds of soldiers in the process.
The most recent attack is particularly vicious as so many people in the region are struggling to recover from the deadly monsoon flooding. "Violence like this," said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, "is abhorrent at any time, but especially at this time of crisis for the Pakistani people."
The worst floods in 80 years have affected millions of Pakistanis nationwide. An estimated 1,500 people have lost their lives, and several million will require emergency assistance.
In response to this crisis, the U.S. has committed $76 million in aid. U.S. humanitarian relief experts have been deployed to the field. U.S. helicopters have already rescued thousands of people out of danger and delivered critical supplies, including hundreds of thousands of halal meals. The United States has sent boats to help with the search and rescue, water purification units to provide clean water for thousands of people, and temporary bridges to replace the bridges damaged by the floods. All of this has been done in close coordination with the Government of Pakistan and their disaster management specialists. "This represents just the start of our efforts," said Secretary Clinton. "We will continue to help Pakistan in the days and weeks ahead."
The United States has a history of working with the Government of Pakistan to respond to natural disasters. In the aftermath of the 2005 earthquake, the United States provided hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to help millions of survivors. "Today," said Secretary Clinton, "we’re continuing that tradition. We’ve been working hard over the past year to build a partnership with the people of Pakistan and this is an essential element of that partnership; reaching out and helping each other in times of need."