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Business News/ News / India/  India ditches Pakistan route, to send food supply to Afghanistan through Iran

India and five central Asian countries, on March 7, expressed their shared belief that Afghanistan should not be a base for terrorist activities. This declaration came as India announced that it would provide an additional 20,000 metric tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan. The wheat will be supplied in partnership with the UN World Food Programme and will be sent through the Chabahar Port in Iran.

This move comes several months after India pledged to provide 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan. The consignments were sent using the land route through Pakistan, which was granted after months of discussions.

During the first meeting of the India-Central Asia joint working group on Afghanistan in New Delhi, the participants discussed regional threats of terrorism, extremism, radicalisation, and drug trafficking. They explored ways to jointly counter these threats and emphasised that Afghanistan's territory should not be used for sheltering, training, planning, or financing any terrorist acts.

Also Read: Afghan woman receives MA gold at Guj university, sends Taliban a ‘suitable response’

The meeting also highlighted the importance of forming a truly inclusive and representative political structure that respects the rights of all Afghans, including equal rights for women, girls, and minority groups. In December, India criticised the Taliban's decision to ban university education for women in Afghanistan.

Representatives from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan attended the meeting alongside UN representatives from the Office on Drugs and Crimes and the World Food Programme. 

They exchanged views on the current situation in Afghanistan, including the political, security, and humanitarian aspects. While emphasising the respect for sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity, and non-interference in its internal affairs, they reiterated support for a peaceful, secure, and stable Afghanistan.

Also Read: ‘Devil has returned’: Afghan women forced to go back to abusive husbands

The participants also discussed providing humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people. The country representative of the World Food Programme in Afghanistan briefed the participants on the India-World Food Programme partnership to deliver foodgrain assistance to the Afghan people and made a presentation on the current humanitarian situation, including the aid requirements for the year ahead.

The country representative of the Office on Drugs and Crimes in Afghanistan highlighted the partnership of India and the Office on Drugs and Crimes in fighting the menace of narcotics in Afghanistan. India offered capacity building training courses for the relevant stakeholders/partner agencies of the Office on Drugs and Crimes and the relevant officials/stakeholders of Central Asian Republics in the field of countering illegal drug trafficking.

Also Read: Taliban terrorise people not to promote ‘Western conspiracy to control Muslim population

The joint working group thanked India for holding the meeting at a senior officials level and agreed to continue consultations in this format on a regular basis. India has not yet recognised the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and has been advocating for the formation of a truly inclusive government in Kabul.

India has also been calling for unimpeded humanitarian aid to address the unfolding humanitarian crisis in the country. In June last year, India re-established its diplomatic presence in Kabul by deploying a "technical team" in its embassy. India had withdrawn its officials from the embassy after the Taliban seized power in August 2021 due to concerns over their security.

(With agency inputs)

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Sounak Mukhopadhyay
Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and social media. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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Updated: 08 Mar 2023, 06:29 AM IST
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