On Tuesday, the federal cabinet granted India permission to use Pakistan’s overland route to send wheat aid to Afghanistan, where millions of people face starvation as a harsh winter approaches.
Islamabad will additionally give aid, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) announced in a statement, including 50,000 metric tons of wheat, meeting the level granted by India.
“We have approved supplying access to these 50,000 tons of wheat that India desires to send to Afghanistan,” Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry informed a news conference following the cabinet meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“We believe that people in Afghanistan should be helped in any way for humanitarian reasons,” he stated.
New Delhi has not reacted to the statement till now.
Pakistan has for years refused India commercial or different transportation connections with Afghanistan.
The PMO in its statement, said that Islamabad would send humanitarian assistance to Kabul worth 5,000 million rupees ($ 28.65 million) and that it will include food products, including 50,000 metric tons of wheat, emergency medical stocks, winter shelters and other supplies.
He also said that Pakistan will facilitate the return of Afghan patients sent to India for medical treatment.
A combination of conflict, drought and Covid-19 has left millions of people in Afghanistan, under the rule of the Taliban, facing hunger or starvation.
Food rates have skyrocketed since the second drought in four years ruined about 40 percent of the wheat crop, according to the World Food Program (WFP), a UN body said.
He said Afghanistan faces a deficit of 2.5 million tonnes of wheat and that only 5% of its people has sufficient to consume.