Pakistan approves India’s request to let trucks carry wheat to Afghanistan

After sitting on India’s request of sending food grains to Afghanistan via land route for months, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan finally shows two reconciliatory gestures towards New Delhi after a visit from the Taliban delegation.

Pakistan considers the request as a humanitarian gesture and allows the transportation of wheat from India to Afghanistan and also announced the release of 20 fishermen from custody on Monday. “The PM conveyed that within the present context, Pakistan would favorably consider the request by Afghan brothers for transportation of wheat provided by India for humanitarian functions as per modalities to be worked out,” said the official Twitter handle of the Pakistan PM.

Earlier in October, UN’s World Meals Programme (WFP) director in Afghanistan Mary Ellen said they were in talks with India for wheat donation to Afghanistan. India also separately announced a 50,000-tonne wheat aid to Afghanistan; however, it said the condition of unimpeded access was not being met.

India has already reached out to Pakistan with a note verbale stating its intention to send trucks carrying 50,000 tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan and seeking transit permission from Islamabad.

While Pakistan dint says no to the proposal it explained that it needed time to plan out such a large number of trucks crossing its territory thus it kept trucks waiting at the Wagah-Attari ICP.

It is still unclear if Pakistan will insist the wheat be unloaded from Indian trucks and transported by Pakistani goods carriers. Pakistan also announced the release of 20 fishermen, which is a minuscule proportion of the over 500 fishermen in its custody.

This announcement is being viewed as an attempt to dial down maritime tensions and avoid retribution after its coast guard shot and killed an Indian fisherman and critically injured another for allegedly crossing the maritime boundary.

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