With government aid sporadic or non-existent, survivors of the October 29 6.4-magnitude earthquake that rocked the impoverished Pakistani province of Baluchistan are receiving assistance from local Islamist groups, some of which the US has condemned as “terrorist organizations.” Within hours of the quake, people from Jamaat-ud-Dawa—condemned by the US as the political wing of the Kashmiri liberation outift Laskhar-e-Taiba—were distributing blankets, food, milk, and biscuits, promised to return soon with tents, and pledged to construct 1000 temporary homes.
“We do not believe in politics,” a local Jamaat-ud-Dawa official told AFP, “but to serve the people when they need it the most.”
Through 2007, the Bush administration had awarded Pakistan more than $10 billion in overt War-on-Terra military aid, and an estimated additional $5 billion in covert funds. To assist the tens of thousands
of Pakistanis injured and displaced by the October 29 quake, some of whom are now freezing to death or perishing of sickness in the frigid winter air, the Bush administration has pledged $1 million. This is approximately four times the suspected amount Sarah Palin recently spent on clothes, accessories, jewelry, luggage, and spray-on tans for herself, her husband, and her brood.