U.S. Offers Aid to Rescue Pakistanis and Reclaim Image

New York Times

Eric Schmitt, Aug 14

(Washington)
As the Obama administration continues to add to the aid package for flood-stricken Pakistan — already the largest humanitarian response from any single country — officials acknowledge that they are seeking to use the efforts to burnish the United States’ dismal image there. (Image)

According to a survey conducted last month by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, 68 percent of Pakistanis have an unfavorable view of the United States. American officials hope that images of Navy and Marine Corps helicopters ferrying supplies and plucking people from rain-swollen rivers will at least begin to counteract the bad will generated by American drone strikes against militants in Pakistan. Many Pakistanis blame the strikes for a devastating series of insurgent attacks in Pakistan.

“If we do the right thing, it will be good not only for the people whose lives we save but for the U.S. image in Pakistan,” Richard C. Holbrooke, the administration’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, said Thursday on the PBS program “The Charlie Rose Show.”

“The people of Pakistan will see that when the crisis hits,” Mr. Holbrooke continued, “it’s not the Chinese. It’s not the Iranians. It’s not other countries. It’s not the E.U. It’s the U.S. that always leads.”

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