Pakistan likely to allow Indian wheat trucks for Afghanistan 'on exceptional basis'

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday told a Taliban delegation led by Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi that Islamabad would “favourably consider” the request by the Afghan Taliban to allow trucks carrying Indian wheat through Pakistan “on exceptional basis”

Nov 13, 2021
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Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday told a Taliban delegation led by Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi that Islamabad would “favourably consider” the request by the Afghan Taliban to allow trucks carrying Indian wheat through Pakistan “on exceptional basis”.

The Pakistan Prime Minister’s Office said in tweets: “Mr. Amir Khan Muttaqi, Acting Foreign Minister of Afghanistan, called on Prime Minister
@ImranKhanPTI, today. He was accompanied by Acting Ministers for Finance as well as Industry & Commerce and other senior members of the Afghan delegation.”

“The Prime Minister conveyed that in the current context Pakistan would favourably consider the request by Afghan brothers for transportation of wheat offered by India through Pakistan on exceptional basis for humanitarian purposes and as per modalities to be worked out.”

Abdul Qahar Balkhi, spokesperson of the Afghan Foreign Ministry, said in tweets that Muttaqi “requested the Pakistani PM for further facilitation at Torkham & Chaman crossings & for Afghan trade goods’ transit to Pakistan ports.”

“H.E. Imran Khan pledged that Afghan transit via Pakistan would be significantly facilitated, Indian assisted wheat allowed to reach Afghanistan via Wagah port.”

India has been waiting for Pakistan to allow the passage of its trucks carrying 50,000 MT of wheat bound for Afghanistan. New Delhi had earlier said it wanted to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, which was in the midst of a food crisis, but Pakistan had denied transit rights to its trucks through its territory.

“We would like to help, but we need quick access to Afghanistan, which Pakistan has denied to us. Pakistan claims to be concerned about the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, then it should allow humanitarian aid from India,” officials had said.

 Imran Khan also emphasized the crucial role of the Troika Plus format on Afghanistan, including Russia, the United States, China and Pakistan, in efforts to resolve the humanitarian crisis in the country, his office said on Friday. The remark was made during a meeting with the special envoys of the so-called Troika Plus countries after the representatives held talks on the Afghan issue in Islamabad.

"The Prime Minister laid a strong emphasis on provision of urgent humanitarian assistance as well as economic support to Afghanistan to avert the twin challenges of humanitarian crisis and economic collapse ... The Prime Minister highlighted the crucial role of Troika Plus in this context," the office said in a statement.

Khan also expressed hope that the international community would recognize the gravity of the situation and take urgent measures, including the release of frozen assets, to help alleviate the sufferings of the Afghan people.

"The Prime Minister emphasized the importance for the international community to have a pragmatic approach and constructive engagement with Afghanistan to address mutual concerns and promote common interests of Troika Plus countries," the statement read.

(SAM)