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Pakistan Permits India to Transport Wheat, Medicine to Afghanistan

by Newsweek Pakistan
Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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In statement, Foreign Office says Indian vehicles will be allowed to travel via Wagah Border ‘as a goodwill gesture’ to Afghans

Pakistan on Wednesday formally allowed India to transport 50,000 metric tons of wheat and life-saving to Afghanistan via its road network, stressing that this was a “goodwill gesture” to the Afghan people facing a humanitarian crisis.

“As a goodwill gesture toward the brotherly Afghan people, the Government of Pakistan has decided to allow the transportation of 50,000 metric tons of wheat and life-saving medicines from India to Afghanistan via the Wagah Border on an exceptional basis for humanitarian purposes,” read a statement issued by the Foreign Office.

It said that government’s decision had been conveyed to the Charge d’Affaires of India at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Imran Khan had announced that the government had approved a humanitarian assistance package for Afghanistan during the first apex committee meeting of the Afghanistan Inter-Ministerial Coordination Cell. “P.M. Imran Khan ordered the immediate shipment of in-kind humanitarian assistance worth Rs. 5 billion, comprising food commodities … emergency medical supplies, winter shelters and other supplies,” read a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, adding that Pakistan would also continue to administer free COVID-19 vaccines to any Afghans entering Pakistan via its land borders.

The apex committee meeting, read the statement, had also decided to allow India to transport 50,000 mega tons of wheat via Pakistan, pending the completion of modalities. It said that Pakistan would facilitate the return to their homeland of any Afghans who had traveled to India for medical treatment and had gotten stranded there following the Taliban’s takeover.

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