Surprised US seeks disaster response training from Kashmir

Mar 14th, 2014 | By | Category: Featured, New
It took 56 minutes for Barack Obama to connect the call to Omar Abdullah

It took 56 minutes for Barack Obama to connect the call to Omar Abdullah

Srinagar: US President Barack Hussein Obama called J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah this morning, requesting for specialized training to US federal emergency personnel.

The call came a day after state Health minister TajMohi-ud-Din disclosed that Kashmir’s emergency response was far more advanced than that of United States.

An official spokesman said that Obama called Abdullah at 8.56 am IST and asked if the state could train a team of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in disaster management skills.

The chief minister replied positively and also raised the issue of strip searching of Indian VVIPs at US airports, the spokesman said.

“Of late, we have been facing a lot of snow storms and other natural calamities, and ourresponse has not been upto the mark,” Obama told Abdullah, adding that he had been unaware of the superior technology available in J&K.

Obama also told Abdullah that VVIPs visiting US could opt for body scanners to avoid strip search.

Abdullah assured Obama that FEMA will become the head of disasters after their training in J&K.

“Obviously we will still be the most disastrous, but the US given its global reach will dominate the world of disasters,” Abdullah tweeted after the call.

Sources said the call was scheduled for 8am but was delayed by 56 minutes due to technical problems.

“They had some problems connecting the call, as their technology is a little backdated,” said Chief Secretary Iqbal Khanday while denying rumours that the telephone link at chief minister’s residence had broken down at the scheduled time.

Khanday added that a team of 200 FEMA personnel will take the training in J&K under former disaster coordinator Aaamir Ali with expert supervision from Health Minister TajMohi-ud-Din.

Meanwhile Malaysian High Commissioner in India, YBhg Datuk Naimun Ashakli called on Mohi-ud-Din to inquire if he could help in tracing the Malaysian Airlines flight (MH 370) which has been missing since its departure from Kaula Lampur last week.

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