India to Start Sending Wheat Consignments to Afghanistan via Pakistan from Next Month

India will soon start delivering 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan as per its commitment made last October, sources told News18, adding that the consignment will be sent via Pakistan.

Afghanistan, taken over by the Taliban following chaotic withdrawal of US troops last year, is undergoing a crippling humanitarian crisis and large swathes of populations are in desperate need of food grains and other aid.

The development from the Indian side came as Pakistan said it was awaiting response on humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.

“Pakistan has allowed the transportation of Indian Wheat assistance for Afghanistan on humanitarian grounds on exceptional basis. We have conveyed to the Indian side the necessary details of arrangements put in place by Pakistan and for about three weeks now, we are awaiting further response from India regarding the date of dispatch and other information of the first consignment,” spokesperson of Pakistan’s foreign ministry said.

India has provided a list of Afghan contractors and truck drivers to the Pakistan government who would transport the Indian consignment of 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan as humanitarian assistance.

India has already sent three batches of humanitarian assistance to the country. The assistance consisted of medical supplies that were handed over to the Indira Gandhi Hospital. India also supplied 500,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine and 1.6 tons of medical assistance to Afghanistan through the World Health Organization (WHO).

“We have committed to supplying 50,000 tonnes of wheat as well as lifesaving medicines as humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. We are in discussions with Pakistani authorities on the exact modalities of shipment of wheat. We remain committed to providing humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said.

Sources said that the two sides have been engaged at the official-level to finalise modalities for sending humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.