ISLAMABAD, Nov 24 (APP): Pakistan on Wednesday handed over seven truck-loads of humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan at the Torkham crossing as part of its efforts to provide relief as harsh winters set in.
The trucks carrying food items were handed over to the Afghan authorities by National Security Advisor Moeed Yusuf. Pakistan’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Mohammad Sadiq was also present on the occasion, while from the Afghanistan side; Qari Inayat ullah – Deputy minister of management, Qari Sabit – Coordinator Pakistan Afghanistan Border and Qari Nazir – Deputy Kamisar Torkham received the humanitarian assistance.
Pakistan has repeatedly urged the world to reach out to the Afghans in urgent need of food, medicine and shelter, as in the absence of a recognized government, the people of Afghanistan were the worst sufferers.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has already announced Rs five billion package for the Afghan people including 50,000 metric tons of wheat. Pakistan as a goodwill gesture also allowed transit of wheat from India to Afghanistan.
Dr Moeed Yusuf, the National Security Advisor in a series of tweets following his visit to Torkham said the Prime Minister chaired the apex committee meeting of the Afghan coordination cell, earlier this week and directed the Cell to visit the border and ensure progress in removing every bottleneck for smooth trade and connectivity.
He said as far as the westward connectivity was concerned, Torkham was one of the key future gateways through which Pakistan was helping join the Central Asian Republics, Russia and Eurasia to the “warm waters” and pointed that “This isn’t just talk.”
He said geo-economics was a reality and so were Pakistan government’s efforts to translate this vision into the kind of reality that would affect each and every Pakistani positively in the years to come.
He recalled his visit to Torkham with his Uzbek counterpart, along with Commerce Minister Razak Dawood few days back to witness the first consignment of Uzbek yarn come across the border.
He said multiple bilateral and multilateral agreements, needed to make this happen, were being put in place.
“Our trucks are already ploughing the route all the way to Turkey. More of this will become the norm,” he said.
The NSA said during his visit to Torkham; at the Khyber Rifles mess, a critical benchmark of success of connectivity and geo-economics became apparent to him as he walked through the corridors and was surrounded by an incredible history.
“From British to American to the Arab world to Africa, leader after leader has visited KR and the Torkham border over the years.The picture gallery leaves no doubt of this area’s continued global strategic importance.”
Dr Moeed Yusuf however pointed that the thing that strikes one as well was that “virtually every Western leader visited here because of a war or turmoil going on next door in which their countries had a direct stake.”
“The Great Game if you will! This pattern goes back decades and decades.”
He said the best testament to Pakistan’s successful switch to geo-economics would be if the border was frequented by Trade and Commerce ministers of major regional and extra-regional countries. He said with the opening up of the route they would have real economic stakes in connectivity through this region and would therefore genuinely seek peace here.
“That’s it: as KR’s walls fill up with such visitors, we’ll know we are getting where we want to,” Dr Moeed said.
Apart from providing food aid, the Pakistan-Afghanistan Cooperation Forum had held free eye camps in Khost and Kabul cities of Afghanistan where 1820 patients were checked and another 219 went through eye surgeries during the first two days.
The Forum had already sent hundreds of tonnes of edible items and essential goods for the people of Afghanistan. From September 9 till Oct 16, Pakistan has dispatched humanitarian aid including, food, essential medicines, tents and blankets through 84 truck loads and four C-130 aircraft of for the Afghan people.