Pakistan grants two months extension to India for humanitarian aid to Afghanistan
Islamabad, Apr 17: Pakistan on Sunday extended for two months the period for India to transport 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat and life-saving medicines as humanitarian assistance to war-torn Afghanistan via Attari-Wagah border crossing.
Foreign Office said that the time period granted for transportation of the humanitarian assistance expired on March 21 and the Government of India recently requested for extension in time period to complete the transportation process.
"As a manifestation of our sincere efforts towards addressing the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, it has been decided to grant two months' extension to facilitate completion of the transportation," FO said.
It added that all the modalities already decided shall remain the same as earlier communicated to the Indian side and the High Commission of India in Islamabad has been informed of the decision.
Pakistan in November 2021 had approved the transportation of 50,000 MTs of wheat and life-saving medicines as humanitarian assistance from India to Afghanistan via Wagah border on exceptional basis for humanitarian purposes.
India had committed 50,000 MT of wheat for Afghanistan because of food shortages in the war-torn country. Pakistan had agreed to facilitate both Afghanistan and India through safe and duty-free transportation of the commodity.
India has signed an MoU with the World Food Programme (WFP) on the distribution of wheat to Afghanistan.
The wheat provided by India is expected to help Afghanistan deal with shortages. According to international aid agencies, about 23 million Afghan are in need of urgent support.
Afghanistan has been under Taliban rule since August 15 last year when the Afghan hardline militant group ousted the elected government of president Ashraf Ghani and forced him to flee the country and take refuge in the UAE.
India has not recognised the new regime in Afghanistan and has been pitching for the formation of a truly inclusive government in Kabul besides insisting that Afghan soil must not be used for any terrorist activities against any country.