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‘1st True responder’: After powerful earthquake in Afghanistan, India sends two consignments for help

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

New Delhi: The Government of India on Friday stepped up efforts to help to Afghanistan after more than 1,000 people were killed in the country due to a deadly quake. A statement by the foreign ministry on Thursday read, “In order to closely monitor and coordinate the efforts of various stakeholders for the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance and in continuation of our engagement with the Afghan people, an Indian technical team has reached Kabul today and has been deployed in our embassy there.”

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Taking to Twitter, Minister for External Affairs Dr. S. Jaishankar lauded the effort, tweeting that India was a ‘true first responder.

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India has a historical and civilizational relationship with the Afghan people, the foreign ministry asserted. At the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) briefing on Afghanistan, India expressed its deepest condolences to the victims and their families who were impacted by the devastating earthquake in Afghanistan and vowed to provide assistance and support in this hour of need.

“Recently, another Indian team visited Kabul to oversee the delivery operations of our humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan and met with senior members of the Taliban. During the visit, an assessment of the security situation was also carried out,” MEA said. India has sent several shipment of humanitarian assistance, including 30,000 meters wheat, 13 tonnes of medicines, 500,000 doses, COVID-19 -19 vaccines and winter clothes.

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Hundreds of homes have been destroyed, and thousands of locals have been affected after a strong earthquake hit the eastern Paktika province earlier this week. Permanent Representative to UN, Ambassador TS Tirumurti, while addressing the Council said, “At the outset, I express deepest condolences to the victims and their families, and to all those impacted by the devastating earthquake in Afghanistan. India shares the grief of the people of Afghanistan and is ready to provide assistance and support in this hour of need.”

He further noted that as a contiguous neighbour and long-standing partner of Afghanistan, India has direct stakes in ensuring the return of peace and stability to the country. “Given our strong historical and civilizational linkages to the Afghan people, we are deeply concerned about the recent developments in Afghanistan, especially the deteriorating humanitarian situation,” he added.

The quake took the lives of 1,000 people, according to the state-run Bakhtar News Agency, which also reported an estimated 1,500 more were injured. In the first independent count, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said around 770 people had been killed in Paktika and neighboring Khost province.

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