“Second consignment of India’s earthquake relief assistance for the people of Afghanistan reaches Kabul,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said via a tweet.
India earlier sent another consignment of relief items which reached Afghanistan earlier on Thursday evening. The MEA also shared pictures of the consignment being prepared to be delivered to those affected by the earthquake.
India has dispatched 27 tons of emergency relief assistance to Afghanistan.
An earthquake of 6.1 magnitude on the Richter scale hit Afghanistan’s Paktika province killing more than 1,000 people and injuring more than 1,500. The crisis is exacerbated as following Taliban-takeover of Afghanistan sanctions have driven the country towards near economic collapse as its citizens suffer from a food crisis.
The relief items sent to Afghanistan include family ridge tents, sleeping bags, blankets, sleeping mats among others. The items will be handed over to the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) in Kabul.
India reiterated that in this moment of crisis it will stand beside Afghanistan in this moment of crisis. “India stands in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan, with whom we share centuries old ties, and remains firmly committed to provide immediate relief assistance for the Afghan people,” the MEA said.
However, India deployed two technical teams to ensure effective delivery of humanitarian assistance. The team reached Kabul on Thursday and has stationed itself in the embassy.
Ahead of the team’s visit to Kabul, a separate team also visited Afghanistan to conduct an assessment of the security situation.
The Taliban leadership in Afghanistan thanked India for its support and welcomed the initiative to bring back diplomats and technical teams to its embassy in Kabul.
“The Islamic Emirate Of Afghanistan welcomes the decision by India to return diplomats and technical team to their embassy in Kabul to continue their relations with the Afghan people & their humanitarian assistance. The return of Indian diplomats to Afghanistan and reopening of the embassy demonstrates that security is established in the country, and all political and diplomatic rights are respected,” the Taliban leadership said in a statement.
However, concerns remain despite the above statement following the deadly attack on the Karte Parwan gurdwara, which led to two deaths and raised questions regarding the supposed security the Taliban leaders were expected to provide to the religious minorities.
The Taliban added to their above statement and invited other countries to reopen their embassies saying that they will provide security to the compounds.
However, nations are likely to respond to the crisis affecting thousands of Afghans currently affected by the earthquake and deliberate on reopening their embassies later.
India, however, due to its history of responding to humanitarian crises globally remains engaged with the leadership in Kabul to ensure Afghanistan’s peoples have access to food, medicines and essentials as they recover from the effects of the earthquake as well as their downtrodden economy.
(with inputs from Shalinder Wangu)