India to use Afghan trucks for sending aid to Afghanistan through Pakistan

Published December 4, 2021
An Afghan security guard stands while supply trucks carrying containers for export line at the Customhouse in Jalalabad, Afghanistan in this file photo. — Reuters
An Afghan security guard stands while supply trucks carrying containers for export line at the Customhouse in Jalalabad, Afghanistan in this file photo. — Reuters

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday permitted use of Afghan trucks for transporting Indian humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.

“It has been decided to allow the use of Afghan trucks for transportation from Wagah border to Torkham,” FO spokesman Asim Iftikhar said.

The decision was conveyed to the Charge d’Affaires of India at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he said.

The move came as European Union’s envoy to Afghanistan Tomas Niklasson urged both Islamabad and Delhi to resolve issues concerning the transfer of Indian humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.

FO says transportation from Wagah to Torkham allowed

Afghanistan, the UNDP fears, could face the worst humanitarian crisis of its history with nearly 23 million people facing imminent severe hunger and millions likely to sink into poverty.

Pakistan had last week allowed Indian assistance for the war-torn country to transit through its territory on what was described as “an exceptional basis for humanitarian purposes”.

India had offered to provide 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat and lifesaving medicines in humanitarian aid for the people of Afghanistan.

Problems, however, arose at the time of negotiating modalities for shipment of the aid between Pakistan and India. India wanted its own trucks to carry aid goods up to the Afghan border, but the move was not acceptable to Pakistan.

A proposal regarding handing over the assistance to UN agencies was also considered.

It appears that finally as a compromise Pakistan has allowed India to use Afghan trucks for transportation of goods through the Wagah border.

Mr Iftikhar said Pakistan’s decision “demonstrates the commitment and seriousness of the Government of Pakistan to facilitate the proposed humanitarian assistance”.

Delhi was urged to “expeditiously” take necessary steps for delivery of humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.

Published in Dawn, December 4th, 2021

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