ISLAMABAD, Nov 24, (Asia Free Press) Pakistan has formally allowed Indian aid shipment through its land route to neighbouring Afghanistan.
On Tuesday, the cabinet approved the summary to grant permission to use its land route to ship wheat aid from India to Afghanistan on humanitarian ground as millions of people faced food shortage and malnutrition after the Taliban took over in Kabul in mid-August.
A statement issued from the prime minister’s office stated that Islamabad would also send aid, including 50,000 metric tons of wheat, matching the level sent by India.
“We have approved to give passage to this 50,000 tons of wheat that India wants to send to Afghanistan,” Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry told a news conference after the Cabinet Meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“We think the people in Afghanistan should be helped in any way on humanitarian grounds,” he stressed.
New Delhi has not yet responded to the announcement.
Pakistan had closed its borders with India since August 2019, after New Delhi unilateral actions to scrap the autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir.
Last year in July, Islamabad opened its Wagah border crossing on a former Afghan government request to facilitate Afghanistan’s transit trade; however, it later closed because of the COVID-19 spike in India.
Currently, millions of Afghans facing food and medicine shortages while the country economy destabilised after US sanctions on Afghanistan.
Washington has blocked over $9.5 billion assets of the Afghan government following the Taliban take over the country in August this year.
The US move has pushed the country into a humanitarian crisis, and its banking system almost collapsed.
China, Russian, Pakistan, Qatar and several other countries repeatedly urged Washington to de-freeze Afghanistan assets to avoid a humanitarian disaster in the war-torn country.