Sunday Sep 19 2021

Pakistan dispatches 278 tonnes of edibles to Afghanistan via Torkham as humanitarian aid

Pak-Afghan Cooperation Forum trucks can be seen parked in the backdrop in this photo shared by Ambassador to Afghanistan Mansoor Ahmad Khan, on September 19, 2021. — Twitter/Mansoor Ahmad Khan
Pak-Afghan Cooperation Forum trucks can be seen parked in the backdrop in this photo shared by Ambassador to Afghanistan Mansoor Ahmad Khan, on September 19, 2021. — Twitter/Mansoor Ahmad Khan

PESHAWAR: The Pak-Afghan Cooperation Forum (PACF), on behalf of the Pakistan government, on Sunday dispatched 17 trucks loaded with 278 tonnes of edibles by way of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.

Briefing the media at the Torkham border, Chairman Pak-Afghan Cooperation Forum (PACF) Habibullah Khan Khattak, said: "Afghans are our Muslim brothers and neighbours and we have centuries old relations with them."

He said that the 40-year-long war in Afghanistan ruined the economy, agriculture and administrative infrastructure of the country and the sudden withdrawal of international aid agencies put the entire population at risk.

Habibullah said last year's drought also added to the miseries of the Afghan people who are now facing a humanitarian crisis.

The situation can turn into a humanitarian catastrophe, if immediate and effective steps are not taken, he added.

Khattak further said that that the Pak-Afghan Cooperation Forum is a trust established to assist the Afghan population in its hour of need.

“We aim not only to provide immediate humanitarian assistance in the form of food, medicine and non-food items to the people of Afghanistan, but to help them to stand on their own feet and make their homeland a peaceful, stable and responsible member of the global community,” Khattak said.

"Our activities are not limited to coordinate all humanitarian assistance and include procurement, storage, transportation, and distribution of food ration, medicine or shelter for the needy people of Afghanistan as well as interaction with prospective donors and beneficiaries at organisational and individual levels along with any other such assignment that is helpful in rebuilding Afghanistan," said Khattak.

"With the help of various philanthropists and the government of Pakistan, we have managed to lift 32 tonnes of flour, six tonnes of cooking oil, and two tonnes of medicine through C-130," Khattak said, speaking of aid dispatched by Pakistan earlier.

Similarly, he said, the government is dispatching today an aid convoy of 17 trucks loaded with a total of 278 tonnes of edible items, including 65 tonnes of sugar, three tonnes of pulses, 190 tonnes of flour, 11 tonnes of cooking oil and 31 tonnes of rice.

He expressed the hope that in the coming days they will also provide support in education, health and livelihood.

Khattak said this package is a clear message to the people of Afghanistan that the people and government of Pakistan will never forget them in their difficult times.

It is also a message to the world that instead of adopting the policy of ''wait and see'' they must come forward to help these Afghan people, he said.

He appealed to all philanthropists within Pakistan and across the globe, to come forward and help them through generous donations to avert this humanitarian crisis.

Later, the Consul General of Pakistan at Jalalabad Abidullah and Regional Head Ministry of Industries and Private Sectors Maulvi Mubariz received the edible loaded trucks and thanked the government of Pakistan and Pak Afghan Cooperation Forum (PACF) for helping Afghan people at this critical juncture.

Pakistan's Ambassador to Afghanistan Mansoor Ahmad Khan shared photos of the aid being received in Jalalabad.

"Our Consul General Jalalabad Abidullah received 13 trucks of food items from Pak-Afghan Cooperation Forum for dispatch to different Afghan provinces," he wrote.

The envoy also shared a press release from the Embassy of Pakistan in Kabul stating that relief goods on 13 trucks had arrived, while the other four would also be coming through Torkham soon.

"Pakistan is at the forefront of countries providing relief assistance to Afghanistan to meet the current challenges. Earlier, Pakistan dispatched four C-130 loads of food and medicines to Kabul, Kandahar, Khost and Mazar-e-Sharif," it noted.

The statement said that starting today Pakistan has begun using land routes and that these supplies, along with blankets and tents will continue in the coming weeks "to help people meet the needs of incoming winter season".