afghanistan: No conditionality on Afghanistan aid, India tells Pakistan as they finalise modalities | India News

As the government confirmed on Friday that it was working with Pakistan to finalise the modalities for delivering wheat to Afghanistan through the land route, it also reminded Islamabad that humanitarian assistance should not be subject to “conditionalities”.
The two sides are yet to decide how the wheat will be transported as Pakistan is apparently not ready to allow Indian trucks to carry the wheat from Wagah.
The official response by MEA followed a formal communication by Pakistan earlier in the week that it had approved India’s proposal to deliver 50,000 MT of wheat to Afghanistan via the Attari-Wagah border.
Earlier in the day, in a Russis-India-China (RIC) trilateral meeting, foreign minister S Jaishankar exhorted his Russian and Chinese counterparts, Sergey Lavrov and Wang Yi respectively, to ensure humanitarian assistance reached Afghanistan without any hindrance and politicisation.
“In line with our commitment to the well-being of Afghan people, we have offered a supply of 50,000 MT of wheat to Afghanistan to address the drought situation. RIC countries need to work together to ensure that humanitarian assistance reaches the Afghan people without hindrance and without politicization,’’ said Jaishankar, while also calling for an inclusive and representative government in Afghanistan.
The foreign ministry said later it was examining Islamabad’s response to India’s proposal for delivering wheat and medicines to Afghanistan. India has always stood by the people of Afghanistan, be it humanitarian assistance or developmental support. We are examining the response to our proposal to deliver humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. We are also working out the modalities with the Pakistan side. We believe humanitarian assistance should not be subject to conditionalities,’’ said spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.
India and Pakistan are currently said to be exchanging notes on how this mammoth exercise of transporting 50,000 MT of wheat can be carried out. While India is aware of the desperate situation that Afghanistan finds itself in – as winter starts to set in – sources said it may still take some time to work out the modalities, not least because it will require about 5000 trucks to transport 50,000 MT of wheat through the security-sensitive border with Pakistan. India also wants the UN to be a part of the exercise to ensure “non-discriminatory’’ distribution.
According to a joint statement, RIC ministers too emphasized on the central role of UN in Afghanistan. “Expressing concern over deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, the RIC ministers called for immediate and unhindered humanitarian assistance to be provided to Afghanistan,’’ it said. As a Reuters report said this week, Afghanistan is currently facing a shortfall of 2.5 million tons of wheat. According to UN WFP, as the report said, the drought in Afghanistan has destroyed 40 percent of the wheat crop.

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