Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday ordered an immediate shipment of in-kind humanitarian assistance worth Rs. 5 billion for Afghanistan including 50,000 MT of wheat, emergency medical supplies, winter shelters and other supplies.

Instructing all the ministries to facilitate Afghans to the maximum, he also gave in-principle approval for tariff and sales tax reduction on key Afghan exports to Pakistan.

The Prime Minister issued these order during his visit to the newly established Afghanistan Inter-Ministerial Coordination Cell (AICC) here where he chaired the first Apex Committee meeting of AICC.

There were prominent civil and military officials in attendance, including Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Advisor on Finance Shaukat Tarin, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, National Security Adviser Dr. Moeed Yousaf, and other officials from the government.

 As part of the announcement, he said that Pakistan has decided to let the 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat that India has promised Afghanistan as humanitarian assistance to pass through Pakistan as soon as details with the Indian side have been established.

The Prime Minister said that Pakistan would also assist in the homecoming of Afghan patients who had travelled to India for medical treatment but had been stranded in that country.

When Dr. Moeed Yusuf, the National Security Adviser and Convener of the Afghan International Cooperation Council (AICC), welcomed the Prime Minister, he delivered a detailed presentation to update civil and military leaders on the current economic situation in Afghanistan, as well as the progress made by the AICC in coordinating national efforts for humanitarian assistance and border facilitation for Afghans.

The Prime Minister praised the AICC’s efforts in coordinating Pakistan’s foreign policy and expressed pleasure with the better border control measures that have been implemented.

He ordered that the capacity of border personnel be increased even more, and he commanded that no arbitrary closures of trade crossings should be permitted in the future.

In addition, the Prime Minister directed that bus service between Peshawar and Jalalabad be reinstated in order to better serve tourists on both sides of the border.

By News Desk

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