Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday allowed passage to 50,000 metric tonnes (MT) of wheat, that India has offered to provide Afghanistan as humanitarian assistance, to go through Pakistan. “He also announced Pakistan’s decision to allow the 50,000 MT of wheat India has offered to provide Afghanistan as humanitarian assistance to go through Pakistan as soon as modalities are finalized with the Indian side,” tweeted Prime Minister’s office (PMO) of Pakistan.
Khan also vowed to facilitate the return of Afghan patients who had gone to India for medical treatment. “Pakistan will also facilitate the return of Afghan patients who had gone to India for medical treatment and are stuck there,” announced Pakistan Prime Minister.
Khan today visited the newly established Afghanistan Inter-Ministerial Coordination Cell (AICC), where he chaired the first Apex Committee meeting of AICC. The meeting was attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Advisor on Finance Shaukat Fayaz Tarin, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yousaf and senior civil and military officers, tweeted Pakistan PMO.
At the meeting, Khan instructed all ministries to facilitate Afghans to the maximum. He ordered the immediate shipment of in-kind humanitarian assistance worth Rs 5 billion, which will comprise food commodities including 50,000 MT of wheat, emergency medical supplies, winter shelters and other supplies.
Along with it, Khan also approved in-principle tariff and sales tax reduction on key Afghan exports to Pakistan. “The PM also ordered that the facility of free COVID vaccination for all Afghans entering Pakistan from land borders be continued. Pakistan initiated free vaccination of Afghans on 13th November,” tweeted Pakistan’s PMO.
Khan further ordered that capacity of border staff should be enhanced further and instructed that no arbitrary closures of borders for trade should be allowed. The Prime Minister also ordered that bus service between Peshawar and Jalalabad should be revived to facilitate travellers on both sides. The Pakistan PMO informed that to further facilitate Afghans, the visa duration will be relaxed such that visas are granted within three weeks at the most.