New Delhi: Islamabad Friday said it has informed New Delhi through diplomatic channels that Afghan trucks will be allowed to carry humanitarian aid from India from the Wagah border till Torkham. The Torkham border crossing is located in the town by the same name in Pakistan’s Khyber district.
Pakistan’s response comes after India said last month that it was working out the modalities with them on ways to supply wheat and medicines to Afghanistan.
“With a view to further facilitate Pakistan’s decision to allow transportation of 50,000 MT of wheat and lifesaving medicines from India to Afghanistan via Wagah border on an exceptional basis for humanitarian purposes, it has been decided to also allow the use of Afghan trucks for transportation from Wagah border to Torkham,” said a statement issued by Pakistan’s foreign ministry Friday.
“This demonstrates the commitment and seriousness of the Government of Pakistan to facilitate the proposed humanitarian assistance,” it added.
The statement also said that the decision had been conveyed to the Charge d’ Affaires of India at the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.
“The Indian government was also urged to proceed quickly to take necessary steps to expeditiously undertake the delivery of the humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan,” Pakistan’s foreign ministry said.
According to official sources, New Delhi will assess the latest decision and see if this is Pakistan’s final decision.
Aid for Afghanistan
India had made a proposal to Pakistan on 7 October to allow the transportation of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan through Pakistan, after which Islamabad on 24 November said it will allow for the shipments to go through their country, but will not allow Indian trucks to move inside their territory.
Subsequently, India’s Ministry of External Affairs said this is about humanitarian assistance and hence it should not be subjected to any kind of “conditionalities”.
Arindam Bagchi, Spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs, had said at a press briefing Thursday, that discussions are going on with Pakistan to send humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. Bagchi had also said that India continues to be a part of discussions on Afghanistan with various countries in different formats.
(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)