MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan – Afghan President Hamid Karzai (search) brought medical aid Monday for Pakistani victims of the massive earthquake that killed tens of thousands, as relief workers pulled more bodies from the rubble.
Rashid Kalikov (search), U.N. coordinator for humanitarian assistance in Muzaffarabad, warned that 800,000 people still had no shelter with the harsh Himalayan winter looming. More than 3 million people are believed homeless after the Oct. 8 quake.
The U.S. military began setting up a field hospital Monday in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani-controlled Kashmir (search).
Some 100 American soldiers arrived in the city in a 40-vehicle convoy to set up the Army's only Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, or MASH. Three medical isolation units had to be left behind because the winding road into Kashmir was not wide enough for them. But the MASH still has a capacity for emergency care and operations, as well as beds or cots for as many as 84 patients.
The U.S.S. Pearl Harbor arrived in the port city of Karachi on Monday, bringing in 140 tons of food and blankets. The relief goods, donated by Pakistani nationals in the United Arab Emirates, will be transported by truck to Rawalpindi, where helicopters will take them into the quake zone.
The Afghan president arrived in Islamabad Monday for a one-day visit including talks with President Gen. Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz.
" Afghanistan shares in every way the emotions and suffering of our brothers in Pakistan," Karzai told reporters. He said Pakistan, like his own war-torn nation, faced hard work ahead in reconstruction.
Karzai brought five tons of medicine and medical equipment, as well as 30 doctors and nurses who will travel to the quake zone, said Rafiullah Mujaddedi, an official in the president's media department.
On Sunday, Gen. John Abizaid, head of the Central Command, said the United States would step up its relief efforts and send 11 more Chinook helicopters that would join the 17 U.S. choppers already flying missions into the quake zone.
In an unusual convergence of appeals, al Qaeda's deputy leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, urged Muslims to send as much aid as they could to quake victims in Pakistan, despite Musharraf's alliance with the United States in its war on terrorism.
"You should send as much aid as you can to the victims, regardless of Musharraf's relations with the Americans," Usama bin Laden's deputy said in a recorded message broadcast on Al-Jazeera TV.
Eighteen more bodies were found Sunday in collapsed buildings in Muzaffarabad.
Powerful aftershocks were still rattling the region more than two weeks after the 7.6-magnitude temblor wrecked a huge swath of northern Pakistan and the divided Himalayan region of Kashmir. The quake killed an estimated 79,000 people, including 1,360 on the Indian side.
A magnitude-6.0 quake rocked Pakistani-held Kashmir on Sunday. No one was killed, but an earlier aftershock killed five people in Afghanistan's eastern Zabul province near the Pakistan border.
The tragedy is pushing Pakistan and India to set aside their differences. The two governments were inching closer to a deal in which they would overlook their long-standing dispute over Kashmir for the sake of helping the quake victims, allowing them to cross the disputed border.
Opening the border is particularly sensitive for New Delhi. India has fenced and fortified the so-called Line of Control to prevent infiltration by Islamic militants who fight Indian security forces, seeking Kashmir's independence or merger with Pakistan.
India has proposed opening three aid camps for Pakistani quake victims on its side but signaled Sunday that it could work with Islamabad's suggestions to allow Kashmiris to cross at five points along the border. India has already provided tons of relief goods to its neighbor and traditional rival.