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India’s wheat shipment to Afghanistan to begin in February

KABUL: India’s wheat shipment to Afghanistan as part of its humanitarian aid to the country through the Pakistani soil is expected to start early February as New Delhi and Islamabad have finally agreed on the modalities after months of discussions, a media report said on Saturday.

India has been pitching for providing unimpeded humanitarian aid to Afghanistan to address the unfolding humanitarian crisis in the country. It has already announced to send 50,000 tons of wheat and medicines to Afghanistan by road transport through Pakistan.

Pakistan last year allowed India to send 50,000 metric tons of wheat to Afghanistan by using its land route after the humanitarian situation worsened in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul.

Diplomatic sources told The Express Tribune newspaper that the shipment would start in early February.

According to the modalities, India has to transport the total amount of wheat within 30 days of the first consignment.

The two countries have decided to cooperate on Afghanistan despite their otherwise tense relationship.

It took both the sides several weeks of discussions to agree on the modalities.

Initially, Pakistan wanted the transportation of humanitarian assistance goods to Kabul in its trucks under the banner of the United Nations.

But India made a counter proposal and wanted the food grain to be shipped to Afghanistan either in Indian or Afghan trucks. The two sides then agreed that wheat would be carried by Afghan trucks and a list of Afghan contractors was shared with Pakistan.

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