ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has allowed the Afghan trucks for transportation of 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat and lifesaving medicines provided by India to Afghanistan from the Wagah border to Torkham.
In a statement, Foreign Office Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar said this demonstrates the commitment and seriousness of Pakistan to facilitate the proposed humanitarian assistance.
Pakistan, which has denied India commercial transport links to Afghanistan for a long time to block its access to the Central Asian region, said its decision to allow New Delhi’s humanitarian supplies for Afghanistan was taken under exceptional circumstances.
The Foreign Office added the decision was also conveyed to the Indian Charge d’ Affaires in Islamabad.
“The Indian government was also urged to proceed quickly to take necessary steps to expeditiously undertake the delivery of the humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan,” said the official statement.
Pakistan’s Special Envoy for Afghanistan Mohammad Sadiq also announced his country’s decision in a Twitter post. “With a view to further facilitate Pakistan’s decision to allow transportation of wheat and medicines from India to Afghanistan via Wagah on an exceptional basis for humanitarian purposes, it has been decided to also allow the use of Afghan trucks for transportation.”
Islamabad told New Delhi last month it was willing to allow the movement of Indian goods through its territory on humanitarian grounds.
Indian officials on Thursday informed the media, however, they were still trying to negotiate the modalities of how to supply essential items to Afghanistan with the Pakistani authorities who wanted to reload the relief material on their own trucks from the Wagah border. An Indian external affairs ministry spokesperson said humanitarian aid should not be subject to such conditionalities.
According to Indian newspapers, New Delhi wants the aid to be distributed through the United Nations since India does not recognize the Taliban as the legitimate rulers of Afghanistan.