ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and India have finally come to an understanding in which Pakistan has now decided that New Delhi can use Afghan trucks for transportation of humanitarian aid into Afghanistan.
Earlier, Pakistan had proposed that transportation of Indian wheat and life-saving medicines for Afghanistan should be through trucks operated by the United Nations. It had also added a condition that the shipment charges would be paid by the Indian government.
India was told to complete the transportation within 30 days of the commencement of the first shipment. At the time it was estimated that about 1,200 trucks would be needed to ship 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat.
However, when India appeared reluctant to send aid through UN trucks, the Foreign Office said, “To further facilitate Pakistan’s decision to allow transportation of 50,000 MT of wheat and life-saving medicines from India to Afghanistan viaWagah border on an exceptional basis for humanitarian purposes, it has been decided to also allow the use of Afghan trucks for transportation from Wagah to Torkham border”.
Earlier when India had insisted that it would not agree on conditions. Pakistan clarified that it did not attach any conditions as these were modalities meant to ensure smooth shipment of Indian assistance.
As a policy, Pakistan does not allow direct transit trade between India and Afghanistan through Wagah, but this was a special humanitarian case to which Pakistan agreed after belatedly India announced it was ready to send humanitarian aid.
One view after the announcement by Pakistan on Friday is that India had not understood the original proposal as the UN would have used Afghan trucks anyway. The latest decision was conveyed to the Charge d’ Affairs of India on Friday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“This demonstrates the commitment and seriousness of the Government of Pakistan to facilitate the proposed humanitarian assistance. The Indian government was also urged to take necessary steps to expeditiously undertake the delivery of the humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan “, added the Foreign Office.