NEW DELHI: India on Friday said it is working on the modalities to send humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan through Pakistan, days after Islamabad agreed to allow the transit facility for the aid by New Delhi to people of Afghanistan.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said India is examining the response of the Pakistani government and is also working on the modalities with it.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Monday said his government would 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,” he said.
Bagchi said India has always stood by the people of Afghanistan, be it humanitarian support or development assistance.
“This was about humanitarian access into Afghanistan on the delivery of the 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat and life-saving medicines we are supplying to the people of Afghanistan,” he said.
“We are examining the response of the government of Pakistan, we are also working on the modalities with the Pakistan side. We believe that humanitarian assistance should not be subject to conditionalities,” he 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.
Prime Minister Khan announced on Monday that his government will allow India to send humanitarian shipment of wheat to Afghanistan through its territory after the finalisation of the transit modalities.
“The decision of the government of Pakistan to this effect was formally conveyed to the Charge d’affaires of India at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” the Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) said on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, in a significant move, India, Russia and China on Friday called for ensuring that the territory of Afghanistan is not used to attack any country, pitched for the formation of a “truly inclusive” government and pressed for immediate and unhindered humanitarian assistance to the war-torn country.
The foreign ministers of the three countries, at a virtual meeting held under the Russia-India-China (RIC) framework, also reaffirmed their support for the basic principle of an “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.
The ministers stressed the necessity of “urgent elimination” of UN Security Council proscribed terrorist groups such as al Qaeda, ISIL and others for lasting peace in Afghanistan and the region, the joint communique said.
The meeting was chaired by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and was attended by his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
The communique issued after the talks said the ministers called for the formation of a truly inclusive government that represents all the major ethnic and political groups of the country and emphasised on the central role of the UN in that country.
“They stressed the necessity of urgent elimination of UN Security Council proscribed terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda, ISIL and others for lasting peace in Afghanistan and the region,” it said.
The ministers acknowledged the widespread and sincere demand of the Afghan people for lasting peace.
“They reaffirmed the importance of ensuring that the territory of Afghanistan should not be used to threaten or attack any other country and that no Afghan group or individual should support terrorists operating on the territory of any other country,” it added.
Expressing concerns regarding dramatic change of the situation in Afghanistan, the ministers advocated a peaceful, secure, united, sovereign, stable and prosperous inclusive Afghanistan that exists in harmony with its neighbours.
“They called on the Taliban to take actions in accordance with the results of all the recently held international and regional formats of interaction on Afghanistan, including the UN Resolutions on Afghanistan,” the communique said.
“Expressing concern over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, the Ministers called for immediate and unhindered humanitarian assistance to be provided to Afghanistan. The Ministers also emphasised the central role of UN in Afghanistan,” it said.
The communique said the foreign ministers of China and Russia reiterated the importance they attached to the status of India in international affairs and supported its aspiration to play a greater role in the United Nations.
The foreign ministers of Russia and China congratulated India for its successful Presidency of the UNSC in August.
The three countries also decided to step up efforts in jointly countering terrorism, illicit drug trafficking and trans-border organised crime under the framework of SCO-Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure.
Jaishankar, Wang and Lavrov also condemned terrorism in all its manifestations and said that it must be comprehensively countered to achieve a world free of terrorism.
They called on the international community to strengthen UN-led global counter-terrorism cooperation by fully implementing the relevant UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.
In this context, they called for the early adoption of the UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
“The ministers stressed that those committing, orchestrating, inciting or supporting, financing terrorist acts must be held accountable and brought to justice in accordance with existing international commitments on countering terrorism,” the communique said.
It said terrorists must be brought to justice under relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the FATF standards, international treaties, including on the basis of the principle “extradite or prosecute”.
The RIC foreign ministers also expressed strong commitment to the sovereignty, political independence, territorial integrity and unity of Myanmar.
“They expressed support to the efforts of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) aimed at implementation of its five-point consensus in cooperation with Myanmar. They called on all sides to refrain from violence,” the communique said.