An international human rights groups claimed on Saturday that Pakistani officials are storing tents and other relief supplies instead of immediately distributing them to earthquake survivors - an accusation angrily denied by the government and military officials.
The charges came as the UN appealed for more aid for victims of South Asia's massive earthquake, warning of another wave of deaths if survivors don't get shelter and food. NATO has agreed to send up to 1,000 troops to Pakistan
to boost relief efforts.
New York-based Human Rights Watch
issued a statement accusing civilian authorities, working under military supervision, of storing tents and other needed relief goods at a supply depot in Muzaffarabad
, the city at the heart of the quake-shattered region.
During the Oct. 19 incident, Pakistani officials at the scene told the organization it was being done "so that they would be able to avoid problems when senior military and civilian officials demand supplies that otherwise would not be available," the group's statement said.
One official said he would be fired if he gave out tents, the group added.