Govt Extends Time for Transit of Wheat from India to Afghanistan

The government has extended the deadline for transportation of 50,000 Metric Tonnes (MTs) of Wheat and Life-Saving Medicines as Humanitarian Assistance from India to Afghanistan via the Attari-Wagah integrated check-post for another two months.

The Government of Pakistan, in November 2021, as a special gesture to the Afghan people, approved the transportation of 50,000 MTs of wheat and life-saving medicines as humanitarian assistance from India to Afghanistan via the Wagah border on an exceptional basis for humanitarian purposes. The time granted for transportation of the humanitarian assistance expired on 21 March 2022.

The Government of India recently requested for extension of the deadline to complete the transportation process.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement, said, “As a manifestation of our sincere efforts towards addressing the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, it has been decided to grant two months’ extension to facilitate completion of the transportation. All the modalities shall remain the same as earlier communicated to the Indian side.”

The High Commission of India in Islamabad has been informed of the decision in this regard.

Recently, during the first week of April, a convoy of 39 Afghan Trucks was returned empty-handed by the authorities at the Wagah border, after they had entered to collect the sixth consignment through Torkham, as the deadline had passed.

So far, the Afghan authorities have only collected 10,700 tonnes of wheat in the 30 days from the Indian authorities. The first convoy of 41 trucks collected the first consignment of 2,500 tonnes of wheat on 22 February 2022 from India. The second consignment of 2,000 tonnes was collected by a fleet of 36 trucks on 5 March 2022. Similarly, the third, fourth, and fifth convoys also collected their consignments successfully during March. However, the sixth convey was not allowed to collect the consignment as the time frame given by the Pakistani authorities had met its deadline.

Faiz Paracha is a seasoned broadcast journalist with over 15 years’ experience in reporting and e...