Muzaffarabad/Islamabad/Srinagar/New Delhi, October 12, 2005
Joining the relief efforts for earthquake victims in Pakistan, an Indian cargo plane carrying the first consignment of 25 tonnes of relief supplies arrived in Islamabad early on Wednesday.
IAF's Ilyushin-76 aircraft, loaded with 15,000 blankets, 50 tents, plastic sheets, mattresses, food items and a variety of medicines and medical supplies landed at the airport at 2.45 am, Indian embassy sources said.
Indian High Commissioner to the country Shiv Shankar Menon and senior Indian diplomats formally received the relief supplies and handed it over to Pakistani officials.
It was the first Indian relief aircraft to land since the 1971 Indo-Pak war.
The aircraft initially took off from New Delhi at 11.45 PM on Tuesday night, but could not land as there was no parking space at the airport. It went back and returned early on Wednesday, sources said.
Aid has poured in from across the world following Saturday's massive earthquake, which killed tens of thousands of people in NWFP and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.
Struggling to deal with the devastating earthquake, President Pervez Musharraf had sought international help in terms of medicines, blankets, tents and helicopters to cope with the "biggest tragedy" of its history.
Expressing distress at the extensive loss of life and property in Pakistan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had offered rescue and relief assistance to deal with the crises.
India had also offered to help in badly affected places along the Line of Control on the Pakistani side, which are easier to access from Jammu and Kashmir.