Pakistan to Allow India’s Humanitarian Aid to Afghanistan to Pass Through Its Territory


https://sputniknews.com/20211122/pakistan-to-allow-indias-humanitarian-aid-to-afghanistan-to-pass-through-its-territory-1090931454.html

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pakistan, us, afghanistan, taliban, india, humanitarian aid

The UN-run World Food Programme warned last month that Afghanistan was on a “countdown to catastrophe” without urgent humanitarian relief. In a letter to the US Congress on 17 November, the Taliban’s interim Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi warned that American sanctions have “played havoc” with the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said that his government would allow 50,000 metric tonnes of Indian wheat, which has been offered by New Delhi to Afghanistan as “humanitarian aid,” to pass through its territory once the “modalities” have been worked out.
The decision was taken during the maiden meeting of the Afghanistan Inter-Ministerial Coordination Cell (AICC), a new government agency tasked with coordinating humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.

According to a statement by Pakistan’s Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the meeting was also attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Advisor on Finance Shaukat Fayaz Tarin, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and National Security Adviser Moeed Yousuf.

India had offered humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan during a meeting between the Taliban delegation and Indian officials on the sidelines of the Moscow Forum in the Russian capital city on 20 October. New Delhi’s offer was confirmed by Taliban’s spokesperson and Deputy Information Minister Zabihullah Mujahid.

Humanitarian aid for Afghanistan - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.10.2021

Russian Diplomat Says US, Allies Should Take on Bulk of Humanitarian Aid for Afghanistan

India reiterated its humanitarian offer during the National Security Level (NSA)-level meeting on Afghanistan in New Delhi on 10 November.

A joint statement, titled “Delhi Declaration,” at the end of the eight-nation meeting “underlined the need to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.”

India has been of the view that humanitarian assistance to Pakistan must be provided in an “unimpeded, direct and assured manner” and distributed in a “non-discriminatory manner,” as per officials.

While Pakistan has been on the same page as India as far as providing humanitarian aid to Afghanistan is concerned, it has been viewed as dragging its feet on India’s offer to Kabul.

Any Indian consignment bound for Afghanistan through the overland route must pass through Pakistan. Otherwise, India also has the option to export its assistance to Afghanistan through the Iranian port of Chabahar.

Indian officials say that “coordinating global efforts on humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan” was also taken during the meeting between newly-appointed US Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West and Indian NSA Ajit Doval during the former’s maiden visit to New Delhi on 16 November.

On top of allowing Indian wheat to pass through Pakistan, Prime Minister Khan also announced that Afghan patients who had gone to India to avail medical treatment before the Taliban’s takeover of the country and got stuck there will be allowed to return through Pakistan.

Flight services between India and Afghanistan have remained suspended since the Taliban’s victory. In September, the Taliban regime urged India’s Directorate Generate of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to resume flight service between the two countries.

Pakistan Announces $28 Million Package for Afghanistan

The government statement said that Pakistan would also be providing a financial package of $28.4 million to Afghanistan, which will include food commodities including 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat, emergency medical supplies, winter shelters, and other supplies.

“A senior delegation of Afghan health officials will visit Islamabad later this week to work out modalities for Pakistan’s support to Afghanistan’s health sector,” said the government statement.

Further, Pakistan’s NSA will also be visiting Afghanistan to identify areas where “immediate capacity building will be provided to Afghans, as per the official statement.

“The Prime Minister took the opportunity to remind the international community of the collective responsibility to support Afghanistan to avoid a humanitarian crisis,” it said.

Troika Plus Meeting on Afghanistan on 11 November 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.11.2021

UN Warns of Afghanistan’s Colossal Collapse as US Keeps Funds Frozen
The decision comes amid a looming humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, which the Taliban claims has been exacerbated by the freezing of nearly $9 billion of Kabul’s federal funds held in US-based financial institutions.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that Washington would “judge” the Taliban by its actions and not just words, amid criticism over the Taliban’s interim cabinet not being ethnically diverse enough and having no female representation.





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