Kabul: India will send its next consignment of wheat as aid to Afghanistan via Chabahar, the MEA announced on Tuesday. The decision that was announced at the first meeting of the India-Central Asia Joint Working Group (JWG) on Afghanistan in Delhi came after the agreement with Pakistan to extend for sending the wheat over the land route expired, and talks on extending the time have failed to proceed.
“To address the current humanitarian situation, Indian side announced its partnership with UNWFP (UN World Food Programme) for the delivery of 20,000 MTs of wheat for Afghan people through the Chabahar Port,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement after the meeting of Senior officials and envoys of India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic,Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The JWG meeting comes more than a year after the India-Central Asia summit in January 2022, where the decision to hold a special contact group on Afghanistan was announced.
The JWG also emphasised the “importance of formation of a truly inclusive and representative political structure that respects the rights of all Afghans and ensures equal rights of women, girls and members of minority groups, including access to education,” the joint statement said and added no terror organisations including UN designated terrorists “should be provided sanctuary or allowed to use the territory of Afghanistan.
The meeting comes even as other Indian and Central Asian officials (excluding Turkmenistan) are taking part in a string of meetings of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) that India is hosting this year.