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Pakistan allows India to use its border on ‘exceptional basis’ to pass aid to Afghanistan

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Kabul: Two days after giving nod to Indian government to transport 50,000 tonne of wheat from India to Afghanistan, the Pakistan ministry of foreign affairs called the act an ‘exceptional’ arrangement based on humanitarian grounds. “As a goodwill gesture towards the brotherly Afghan people, the Government of Pakistan has decided to allow the transportation of 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat and life-saving medicines from India to Afghanistan via Wagah Border on an exceptional basis for humanitarian purposes,” the statement issued on Wednesday read.

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“The decision of the Government of Pakistan to this effect was formally conveyed to the Charge d’Affaires of India at the ministry of foreign affairs today,” it said.

According to the Pakistan prime minister’s office, Islamabad will also send aid including 50,000 metric tonne of wheat.

With the harsh winter setting in, Afghanistan is staring at a major food crisis. In early October, India reached out to Pakistan to dispatch the consignment via the Wagah-Attari border near Amritsar in Punjab, but it hit hurdles because of India-Pakistan rivalry for which commercial and transport links between India and Pakistan are suspended for years. A Taliban delegation that recently visited Islamabad had raised the issue of allowing the shipment via land.

The development comes after Pakistan skips India’s regional NSA-level summit to discuss Afghanistan post the Taliban takeover. With Iran, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan attending the summit, it was declared by the eight countries that Afghanistan’s territory must not be used for terror activities. Slamming Pakistan for staying away from the meeting, New Delhi said it showed their attitude over Afghanistan.

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