Pakistan labourers unload sacks of onion imported from India at the Wagah border near Lahore. File/AP
Under a deal with New Delhi, dozens of trucks from Afghanistan will be allowed to collect wheat from India by way of Pakistan's Wagah border near the city of Lahore, beginning Feb. 21. The trucks filled with wheat will then head back to Afghanistan’s Jalalabad city via Pakistan's Torkham border the next day, the officials said.
They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media.
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The arrangement comes more than three months after India announced it would deliver 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat and life-saving medicine to Afghanistan.
Pakistan said at the time it would allow the Indian aid to pass through its territory en route to Afghanistan, but New Delhi could not finalise modalities until last week, said the officials.
A truck enters India from Pakistan through the Wagah border. File/AP
Pakistan and India have a history of bitter relations. Ties between them were further strained after deadly attacks in India’s section of the disputed territory of Kashmir three years ago. More than 40 Indian soldiers were killed. New Delhi blamed Pakistan-based militants for the attack in Indian-controlled Kashmir, a charge Pakistan denied, demanding evidence.
Pakistan suspended trade with India in 2019 after New Delhi stripped the Indian-controlled section of Kashmir of its statehood and special constitutional status. Since then, normal diplomatic and trade ties between them have not resumed.
Pakistan now says it is allowing India to deliver food to Kabul through its territory under a special arrangement.
Afghanistan’s economy is teetering on the brink of collapse in the wake of the Taliban takeover in August.
Prime Minister Imran Khan (right) meets visiting Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi in Islamabad. AP
Also on Monday, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in a meeting with visiting Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi emphasised the need for urgent action by the international community "to prevent a humanitarian crisis and economic meltdown in Afghanistan," according to a government statement.
Recently, the United Nations made a $5 billion appeal for Afghanistan. The UN warns that 1 million children are in danger of starving and 90% of Afghans live below the poverty level of just $1.90 a day.
Pakistan in recent months has also sent food and medicine to Afghanistan.
Like the rest of the world, Pakistan and India have so far not recognized the Taliban government.
New Delhi has no diplomatic presence in Kabul after evacuating its staff ahead of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan in August. It did, however, meet with a Taliban representative in Qatar on Aug. 31.
Before the Taliban took Kabul, India provided Afghan security forces with operational training and military equipment, even though it had no troops on the ground.
Officials have said that the task of moving 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan would require 5,000 trucks via Pakistan. The logistics suggest that Indian trucks would require the wheat to be unloaded and loaded again into Afghan trucks at Zero Point on the Wagah-Attari border.
The world is facing a serious issue of climate change, and it is the need of the hour to take concrete efforts to address climate change together for the betterment of the whole world (“Kabul air pollution may be even deadlier than war,” Nov.17, Gulf Today). Now, slowly air pollution is gripping the world, after India and Pakistan now people in Afghanistan are being victims of air pollution.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is in New York to attend the 74th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), met Zalmay Khalilzad, the US' Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.
The pilot and a 14-year-old passenger were seriously injured and remain in hospital in a serious condition.
If the beggar is not physically disabled, or if he/she has an apparent source of living, or if the beggar had fabricated being injured with wounds or permanent disabilities.
On the occasion of World Tuberculosis Day, observed on March 24 each year, MoHAP stated that the global day is being marked under the theme, “Yes! We can end TB!”
Gandhi, who represented a constituency in southern Kerala state as a member of the Congress party, was disqualified from his membership in the lower house of Parliament from March 23, the date of his conviction, the statement said.