Pak to allow India to send wheat to Afghanistan through its territory: Pak PM
Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced on Monday that his government will allow India to send a humanitarian shipment of 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat to neighbouring Afghanistan through its territory after finalisation of the transit modalities.
Khan, who chaired the first Apex Committee meeting of the newly established Afghanistan Inter-ministerial Coordination Cell (AICC) in Islamabad, also took the opportunity to remind the international community of the collective responsibility to support Afghanistan to avoid a humanitarian crisis.
During the meeting, Khan announced Pakistan’s decision to allow the 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat India has offered to provide Afghanistan as humanitarian assistance to go through Pakistan as soon as modalities are finalised with the Indian side, state-run Radio Pakistan reported.
Currently, Pakistan only allows Afghanistan to export goods to India but doesn’t allow any other two-way trade through the border crossing.
Last month, India announced 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat for Afghanistan as humanitarian assistance and requested Pakistan to ship the food grain via the Wagah border.
Afghanistan’s Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi had also requested Prime Minister Khan to allow India to transport wheat via Pakistan, suggesting that the Taliban government was willing to accept the humanitarian assistance from India.
India has contributed to the humanitarian requirements of the Afghan people. This included providing more than 1 million metric tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan over the past decade.
Last year too India assisted Afghanistan with 75,000 metric tonnes of wheat, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had said at the United Nations High-Level Meeting on the Humanitarian situation in Afghanistan in September.
However, there were reports that Pakistan has blocked India’s efforts to provide wheat to the Afghan people, amidst the chill in relations between New Delhi and Islamabad over the Kashmir issue.