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Natural disasters

Floods press Pakistan to lift NGO bans imposed after bin Laden raid

Calls grow for Islamabad to put aside suspicions, tap funds and expertise

A man wades through floodwaters at a market in Sehwan, Pakistan, on Sept. 6. Many of the international aid groups that would normally be stepping in to help are barred from the country.   © Reuters

ISLAMABAD -- Flood-plagued Pakistan is under pressure to revisit restrictions on international nongovernmental organizations, which stem from Islamabad's suspicions of their links to the 2011 raid that killed 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden.

Since mid-June, much of Pakistan has been inundated by record monsoon rains and melting glaciers in northern mountains. The floods have affected 33 million people and killed at least 1,325 as of earlier this week, while destroying infrastructure and over 800,000 hectares of agricultural land. Early estimates of damage run as high as $10 billion.

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