1. Agriculture World

India's Wheat Shipment to Afghanistan via Pakistan to Begin Next Week

India has been pitching for providing unimpeded humanitarian aid to Afghanistan to address the unfolding humanitarian crisis in the country. It has already announced plans to send 50,000 tonnes of wheat and medicines to Afghanistan by road transport through Pakistan.

Ayushi Raina
India has been pushing to provide unrestricted humanitarian aid to Afghanistan in order to solve the country's looming humanitarian crisis
India has been pushing to provide unrestricted humanitarian aid to Afghanistan in order to solve the country's looming humanitarian crisis

The shipment of 50,000 tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan as part of India's humanitarian help to the conflict-torn country through Pakistan would begin next week, officials said here on Monday. 

India has been pushing to provide unrestricted humanitarian aid to Afghanistan in order to solve the country's looming humanitarian crisis.

It has already announced plans to convey 50,000 tonnes of wheat and medicines to Afghanistan via Pakistani roads. 

Pakistan last year allowed India to send 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan by using its land route after the humanitarian situation worsened in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul. 

According to diplomatic sources in Islamabad, all hurdles have been lifted, and the Indian side has shared with Pakistan a list of Afghan truck drivers and contractors who would transport wheat to Afghanistan via Pakistan. 

According to the sources, "wheat shipping will commence next week." 

According to the bilateral agreement, India must complete the shipment within 30 days of the first consignment crossing the Wagah border. 

On Friday, India also struck an agreement with the World Food Programme (WFP) to distribute wheat to Afghanistan. India would send over the wheat to the World Food Programme in Afghanistan, which would subsequently distribute it to the population. 

Initially, Islamabad desired that humanitarian assistance commodities be transported to Kabul on Pakistani trucks under the banner of the United Nations. 

However, India made a counter-proposal, asking that the food grain be shipped to Afghanistan in either Indian or Afghan trucks. The two parties subsequently agreed that wheat would be carried by Afghan trucks and a list of Afghan contractors was shared with Pakistan. 

On October 7, India sent a proposal to Pakistan seeking a transit route to transport 50,000 tonnes of wheat to the people of Afghanistan via Pakistani land, and on November 24, it received a positive response from Islamabad. 

Following Pakistan's response, the parties communicated to finalize the transportation details for the shipments. 

India's food grains are likely to assist Afghanistan in dealing with food shortages. According to international aid agencies, around 23 million Afghans require immediate assistance. 

Afghanistan has been under Taliban rule since August 15, last year, when the Afghan hardline militant group ousted President Ashraf Ghani's elected government and forced him to escape to the UAE. 

India has refused to recognize the new Afghan regime and has advocated for the formation of a truly inclusive government in Kabul, as well as stressing that Afghan soil not be used for terrorist actions against any country. 

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