More than month after India approached Pakistan for sending food grains to Afghanistan via land route, Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran khan On Friday he told a Taliban delegation in Islamabad that his country “would consider favorably” a request from “Afghan brothers” for the transport of wheat from India through Pakistan “on an exceptional basis”.
Sources said The Indian Express that talks are being held on the modalities, given the “emergency situation” in Afghanistan due to the approach of winter.
A statement from Khan’s office read: “The Prime Minister conveyed that in the current context, Pakistan would view favorably the request of the Afghan brothers for wheat transport offered by India through Pakistan on an exceptional basis for humanitarian purposes and according to the modalities to be elaborated. “
The statement was released after Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi met with Khan along with the group’s finance and trade and industry ministers and senior members of the delegation. Khan “reaffirmed Pakistan’s support for Afghanistan and the Afghan people in overcoming the serious challenges facing their country,” the Pakistani PMO statement said.
India had approached Pakistan in the first week of October sending a verbal note to allow the movement of trucks carrying 50,000 metric tons of wheat to Afghanistan. With winter almost here and a financial crisis paralyzing Afghanistan, food shortages are believed to be imminent in that country.
Some countries like China and Turkey have already started distributing food to Afghans. And India, which has a lot of goodwill among the Afghan people, also wants to do its bit, the sources said.
Authorities said the task of moving 50,000 metric tons of wheat to Afghanistan would require shipping 5,000 trucks through Pakistan. Islamabad is analyzing the proposal, but is said to have pointed out that the scale needs to be defined, in terms of trucks and roads.
According to the sources, the logistics suggest that Indian trucks may need to be allowed, otherwise it would be necessary to unload the wheat and reload it at Zero Point on the Wagah-Attari border.
Pakistan’s statement came even as Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid spoke favorably about the Afghanistan meeting of national security advisers from key countries in the region, except China and Pakistan, which was held in Delhi on Wednesday.
According to a transcript of his remarks, obtained by The Indian Express, Mujahid said: “Regarding the conference that is taking place in India, the region must have taken note of the security of Afghanistan and considers that the economic stability of Afghanistan benefits the country to a greater extent. region. India is also a very important country in the region and we want good diplomatic relations with them. The policy of the Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan is that their land will not be used against any country. We want mutual cooperation. “
He said: “Although we are not present at this conference, we strongly believe that this conference is in the best interest of Afghanistan, as the entire region is considerate of the current situation in Afghanistan, and participating countries should also think about improving and safeguarding the security situation in Afghanistan and help the current government to ensure security in the country on its own. “
Responding to questions, the spokesman said: “Furthermore, cooperation in business and the economy is also a current need of the countries of the region to establish security in Afghanistan. We have no objection or anxiety with the conference to be held in India and we are hopeful that the positive results of this conference will be used and implemented. “