Pakistan will provide food, medicine to Afghanistan: Moeed

ISLAMABAD, Apr 10 (APP):Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Security, Dr Moeed Yusuf Friday said Pakistan, on purely humanitarian grounds, has decided to provide food items and medicines to Afghanistan.
Addressing a press conference with SAPM on Health Dr Zafar Mirza, he said in the prevailing pandemic of Coronavirus, people in Afghanistan needed food and other items. “We will manage to safely deliver the relief items through trucks by ensuring preventive and safety measures as per standard practices,” he added.
Dr Moeed informed that last week Torkham Border was open for three weeks on the request of Afghan government to allow its nationals residing in Pakistan for repatriation by foot through the border. “Pedestrian Afghans have been allowed to cross the border from April 6 to 9 whereas the border is closed again,” he said.
He added that the exemption was given to Afghanistan keeping in view the increasing risk of Coronavirus outbreak.
Moreover, he said Pakistanis based in Afghanistan would also be brought back upon their request. “Quarantine facilities set up at Chaman and Torkham borders where the repatriation would be carried out after coordination with the Afghan authorities through a proper process,” he said.
While briefing on the status of international passenger and air traffic, he said at the moment Islamabad International Airport was operational whereas by the next week Peshawar, Lahore and Multan Airports would be made open.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) would manage special sorties to get 2,000 stranded Pakistanis abroad back to the country, he added.
Dr Moeed said the decisions to open airports and revive international flights were made after consultations with the provinces and members of National Command and Operation Center.
“The Pakistanis struck abroad have been categorized in four different categories. Our top priority are the labourers left unemployed in gulf countries, Umra zaireen stranded in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) due to lockdown, prisoners made free in different countries after coronavirus outbreak and lastly those overseas Pakistanis whose visas are expired and want to return back,” he said.
As per this criterion, he said Pakistanis in United Arab Emirates (UAE), KSA, Oman, Algeria, Indonesia and Thailand would be brought back to the country.
He said that domestic flights except in Gilgit Baltistan were halted and would remain closed. “It has been decided to allow private planes with 3-6 passengers capacity for only having domestic flights after fulfilling set conditions by the government to contain the pandemic,” he added.