A week after the Pakistani government agreed to the transportation of 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat from India to Afghanistan via Pakistan, now the government has put certain conditions for providing the transport facility, people familiar with the matter said on November 20.
It is learnt that Pakistan has insisted that the consignments of 50,000 tonnes of wheat and medicines to Afghanistan be transported on Pakistani trucks from the Wagah border point while India favoured using its own transport.
India is keen on ensuring that the aid reaches the intended beneficiaries without being diverted and wants the distribution of the relief materials through a credible international agency, the people said. They said Pakistan has put a number of riders for allowing the transit facility notwithstanding India's clear message that aid should be allowed to reach Afghan people without any conditionalities.
It is learnt that the transportation of the relief materials is one of the several issues that the two sides are attempting to thrash out. A Pakistani media report said that Pakistan had proposed transportation of wheat on Pakistani trucks to be operated by the United Nations.
There has been indication that India could press for handing over of the aid at the Wagah border to UN agency for their distribution in Afghanistan. On Friday, Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Arindam Bagchi said that India is working on the modalities to send humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan through Pakistan.
At the same time, he said that humanitarian assistance should not be subject to conditionalities. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan last Monday said his government will allow the transit of 50,000 tonnes of wheat from India to Afghanistan.
"We received a response from the government of Pakistan to our proposal made on October 7 for providing humanitarian assistance of 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat to the people of Afghanistan. This also has life-saving medicines that we wanted to send," Bagchi had said.Pakistan on Wednesday said it has formally informed India about its decision to allow the transportation of an Indian humanitarian shipment of 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat and life-saving drugs to Afghanistan through its territory.