ISLAMABAD: Besides helping the Afghans monetarily to avert a food crisis in the war-torn neighbouring country, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday vowed to provide technical assistance and manpower to help the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

“Pakistan is committed to providing all-out support to the Afghan people to avert a humanitarian crisis,” the prime minister said while presiding over the third meeting of the Apex Committee on Afghanistan.

According to the Prime Minister’s Office, Mr Khan also welcomed the United Nations appeal for aid to Afghanistan.

The apex committee expressed concern over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and vowed that Pakistan will not abandon the Afghans in their time of need. It renewed its appeal to the international community and relief agencies to provide aid at this critical juncture to avert an economic collapse and save precious lives in Afghanistan.

Imran assures PTI, allied MNAs of providing funds for constituencies

“Explore bilateral cooperation with friendly countries as well to stave off a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan by exporting qualified and trained manpower, especially in fields of medical, information technology, finance and accounting,” the prime minister directed the authorities concerned.

He also directed to extend cooperation in the sectors of railway, minerals, pharmaceuticals and media to help in Afghanistan’s rehabilitation and development.

Earlier, the apex committee was updated on the progress made on the in-kind humanitarian assistance worth Rs5 billion to the neighbouring country that comprised food commodities, including 50,000MT of wheat, emergency medical supplies, shelter material and other supplies.

It was informed that Afghanistan was on the verge of multiple crises during the harsh winter. “The crisis makes it difficult for the people to get enough food and shelter,” the committee observed and resolved to stand with the Afghan people and urged relief agencies to take immediate action.

The meeting was attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razzak Dawood, National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf, army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and senior civil and military officers.

PM-Development Funds: Later, Prime Minister Khan issued directives for the resolution of constituency-level problems of MNAs, provision of development funds and the completion of people-oriented welfare projects within the stipulated time period.

The PM assured the MNAs of provision of development funds a day after he met a number of legislators from the ruling coalition at Parliament House. A source told Dawn that most of the MNAs had demanded funds for their constituencies.

Interestingly, the PM made the assurance of funds at a time when local government elections are scheduled to be held soon in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (second phase) and Punjab. He issued these directives during a meeting with the PTI’s chief whip in the National Assembly Amir Dogar on Friday.

Mr Khan emphasised the importance of strengthening the role of parliament and effective legislation for the progress of the country. Matters related to Thursday’s National Assembly session and the legislation undertaken were discussed in the meeting.

The prime minister thanked the MNAs from PTI and its allied parties for supporting legislation on important matters and the passage of the supplementary finance bill.

Besides appreciating the efforts of Mr Dogar, the PM sought a report on the participation of MNAs in the NA session and the legislation business.

Published in Dawn, January 15th, 2022

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