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First shipment of 2,500 MT of wheat from India reaches Jalalabad

New Delhi,  The first shipment of 2,500 metric tonnes of wheat sent by India for Afghan people via Pakistani land route as part of its humanitarian aid reached Jalalabad in Afghanistan on Saturday.

Afghanistan’s Ambassador to India Farid Mamundzay said the convoy of 50 trucks carrying the wheat arrived in the Afghan city and that the aid would now be distributed by the World Food Programme (WFP) among the people.

The shipment was part of the commitment made by the government of India to supply 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat for the people of Afghanistan.

Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, along with Mamundzay and WFP Country Director Bishaw Parajuli, flagged off the convoy of trucks at a ceremony at Amritsar’s Attari border crossing on Tuesday.

“The first convoy of 2500 MT of wheat assistance reached Jalalabad this morning,” the Afghan envoy said on Twitter.

He said the WFP in “Afghanistan would now be distributing this aid to thousands of needy families across Afghanistan”.

India had sent a proposal to Pakistan on October 7 last year, seeking the transit facility to send 50,000 tonnes of wheat to the people of Afghanistan via Pakistan and it received a positive response from Islamabad on November 24.

Following the Pakistani response, both sides were in touch to finalise the modalities for the transportation of the shipments.

Each of the bags was stamped with the text: “Gift from the people of India to the people of Afghanistan” in English, Pashto and Dari.

On February 12, the Indian government had inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the WFP for the distribution of wheat within Afghanistan.

The Ministry of External Affairs said on Tuesday that India decided to “gift” the wheat to the people of Afghanistan in response to appeals made by the United Nations for humanitarian assistance to the war-torn country.

India has already supplied five lakh doses of COVAXIN anti-Covid vaccines and 13 tonnes of essential lifesaving medicines to Afghanistan.

The last consignment of medical supplies was delivered last Saturday. It was the fifth consignment of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.

India has been pitching for providing unimpeded humanitarian aid to Afghanistan to address the unfolding humanitarian crisis in the country.

India has not recognised the new regime in Afghanistan and has been pitching for the formation of a truly inclusive government in Kabul, besides insisting that Afghan soil must not be used for any terrorist activities against any country. PTI