In another sign of growing cooperation between South Asia's nuclear rivals, India offered Saturday to let Pakistani earthquake victims cross the cease-fire line in the disputed region of Kashmir to receive aid at three relief camps it was setting up.
The Pakistani government, however, was guarded in its initial response, saying the two sides would have to meet to discuss the proposal, which followed calls from Pakistan's president to open up the heavily militarized frontier for Kashmiris seeking relief.
In western Azerbaijan, a U.N. helicopter on a mission to help Pakistan earthquake victims crashed Saturday, killing at least four crew members, officials said.
The helicopter went down about 125 miles west of the Azerbaijani capital, Baku, said Nazim Ismaylov, head of the regional administration. The Russian Ka-32 was chartered by the United Nations for its relief efforts in Pakistan, Sabir Ilyasov, a deputy head of Azerbaijani Airlines, said.
Meanwhile, New York-based Human Rights Watch accused Pakistani officials of storing tents and other relief supplies instead of immediately distributing them to survivors of the Oct. 8 earthquake that leveled huge swaths of the region, citing eyewitness reports of an incident Wednesday in Muzaffarabad.
Liaquat Hussain, the city's deputy commissioner, rejected the charge. He suggested the organization's workers may have misunderstood what they saw, saying supplies are checked and registered before being sent to quake victims.
The chairwoman of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Asma Jahangir,, whose eyewitness report was cited by the group, said the tents in question had been promised to civil servants helping unload supplies. She said soldiers later handed out 20 tents but put another two dozen into storage.
The allegations came as the United Nations appealed for nations to increase aid, warning of another wave of deaths unless relief arrives for as many as 3 million left homeless by the quake.