Shipment courier

India’s plan to send wheat to Afghanistan back on track, shipment to start next week | Latest India News

NEW DELHI: The shipment of 50,000 tonnes of wheat donated by India as part of humanitarian aid to the Afghan people via Pakistani land routes is expected to start next week, Afghan Ambassador Farid Mamundzay said on Wednesday.

Mamundzay welcomed the Indian government’s allocation of 200 crore in aid to Afghanistan in its budget for 2022-2023, describing it as a “timely intervention” against the backdrop of dire need for food grains and humanitarian assistance among the Afghan people.

The Indian side offered to send 50,000 tons of wheat through the Wagah land border with Pakistan on October 7 and received a first response from Islamabad only on November 24. On December 3, Pakistan said it would allow Indian relief materials to be shipped across the border. crossing only in Afghan trucks, and the two sides have been finalizing the terms ever since.

Also read: Desperate Afghans line up for free bread as poverty crisis deepens

“India will deliver 50,000 tonnes of wheat within a week or two, and the delivery will be completed within a month,” Mamundzay told media on the sidelines of a business meeting hosted by the Afghan embassy.

“We can expect the delivery to start between February 10 and 12,” he said, adding that Pakistan had given all the assurances required by the Indian side.

Referring to the allocation of 200 crores in aid to Afghanistan in India’s budget for the next fiscal year, Mamundzay said, “This comes at a crucial time when other countries have turned their backs on Afghanistan. India has shown its readiness to support the Afghan people at a difficult time.

He added: “Help from 200 crore for development is something we greatly appreciate. the 100 crores [allocated in India’s budget] for the development of [Iran’s] Chabahar Port is another initiative that has been well received by the Afghan business community.

Also read: In India’s budget, a message to the people of Afghanistan that New Delhi is not shutting down

Mamundzay also welcomed New Delhi’s decision to continue funding scholarships for Afghan students, saying, “India continues to invest in our future. There has also been humanitarian support in the form of six tonnes of medicine and 500,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines which have been sent in recent weeks. We look forward to India’s rapid intervention in the areas where the Afghan people need the most help.

Noting that Afghanistan is going through difficult times and needs development assistance, he said, “There could be no better time than this to show the goodwill and generosity that India has always demonstrated to the Afghan people.

Mamundzay said trade with India under the former Afghan government had gradually increased over the past 20 years and peaked at around $1.5 billion a year before the Afghan takeover of Kabul. Taliban.

“This trade could be doubled in a few years if the trade routes are properly opened. Over the past nine months, trade has increased and there has been no decline. The Taliban are focused on banking and releasing foreign exchange reserves, they have an understanding of the importance of trade. We hope they will continue this approach,” he said.

India has not recognized the Taliban configuration that seized power in Afghanistan in mid-August last year after the collapse of Ashraf Ghani’s government, but has said it will continue to provide aid to the Afghan people, who are currently in the throes of a humanitarian crisis.


  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Rezaul H Laskar is Foreign Affairs Editor at the Hindustan Times. His interests include cinema and music.
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