Imran to allow return of Afghan patients through Pakistani territory
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday decided to facilitate the return of Afghans — who had come to India for medical treatment and got stranded owing to the situation in Afghanistan since August — through the Pakistani territory.
This forms part of the Humanitarian Assistance Package for Afghanistan that he unveiled on Monday after the first meeting of the apex committee of the Afghanistan Inter-Ministerial Coordination Cell.
Among the various measures to be taken, Khan announced that “Pakistan will also facilitate the return of Afghan patients who had gone to India for medical treatment and are stuck there’’.
This apart, he iterated that Pakistan would “allow the 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat India has offered to provide Afghanistan as humanitarian assistance to go through Pakistan as soon as modalities are finalised with the Indian side’’.
A similar announcement had been made by his office after he met a delegation led by Afghanistan’s acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi on November 12.
At that time, his office had tweeted: “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.’’
India had reached out to Pakistan last month seeking permission to move 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan overland as humanitarian assistance.
If Pakistan will allow Indian trucks to ferry the wheat right up to Afghanistan or insist on Indian trucks offloading the wheat at the Wagah border crossing remains the question.