Zardari comforts flood victims

ITN News

by ITN News

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Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari has tried to comfort victims of the devastating floods on his first visit to the area.

The floods have swamped Pakistan's Indus river basin, killing more than 1,600 people, forcing two million from their homes and disrupting the lives of about 14 million people, or 8 per cent of the population.

Mr Zardari set off on a much-criticised trip to meet the leaders of Britain and France as the floods were beginning.

Two days after returning home, he flew to the city of Sukkur on the banks of the swollen Indus river in the southern province of Sindh to inspect the destruction and aid efforts.

Wearing a traditional white cap, he travelled along the one-mile long Sukkur barrage and peered into the Indus. He also met victims of the flood at a camp.

Television showed him comforting a sobbing elderly woman with an embrace as children sat on the floor nearby. Villagers told him of their suffering and gestured as they beseeched him for help.