Pakistan’s role in revival of Afghan economy
FROM the very beginning of Taliban’s takeover, humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan has grown exceedingly worse.
To further worsen the Afghan crisis, the global aid sanctions have cut off the nation from much of its international aid.
The world community at large is disregarding the well-being of Afghan masses during these difficult times, Pakistan is at the forefront to look after its brethren in Afghanistan.
The peaceful economic cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan for better transit trade opportunities will help connect South Asia to Central Asia as the Afghan government is relying more on the country’s natural resources like coal and agriculture to meet the economic challenges.
The trade between both countries is carried out through five fully operated border crossings.
To further promote trade with Afghanistan, it has operationalized Ghulam Khan and Kharlachi custom stations on a 24/7 basis.
However, India has once again requested the Kabul Administration to send wheat from Iran’s Chabahar port instead of the Wagah route as Pakistan is obstructing it by searching its containers.
Now it is trying to ship wheat from Mumbai, Kandala and Mandira ports to Chabahar.
Taking into account the history of India, the Iranian government is requested to stop the arms and ammunition hidden in the wheat containers and other modern weapons and also conduct a laboratory test of the wheat to see if the wheat is years old.
Before India makes a fuss about the search of trucks and containers sent through Wagah, it should know that the containers and trucks of its traders coming to Pakistan are searched just like the containers and trucks coming to India are searched.
For what kind of wheat India has been sending to Afghanistan, let’s go back to January 2018, when breaking news on Shamshad TV channel was aired in Kabul, saying that 15 thousand tons of wheat was sent by India as an aid to Afghanistan.
Due to the use of it, the members of every other household have started suffering from skin and stomach diseases and the situation has become such that men, children and women who come for treatment in the hospitals of Afghanistan have been blocked.
Many children and elderly people have also lost their life due to stomach diseases.
When the food obtained from the stomachs of patients who came to the hospital suffering from stomach diseases was analyzed in the laboratory, it was revealed that the disease was not caused by a virus but by wheat flour imported from India.
It has been the bitter experience of Pakistan so far that whenever any concession was given to India, it always took the wrong advantage of this concession which Pakistan also had to bear the brunt of.
This time when a request was received from India to send wheat to Afghanistan, India’s past, solid fears of sabotage and terrorism stood in the way, but despite this, after much deliberation, due to the concern of the Afghan people, it was agreed that this time wheat should be delivered to Afghanistan within a month through the Wagah border, but India deliberately failed to fulfil this agreement and suspended the supply.
After the expiration of this deadline, the Pakistani government gave two more months to India and asked it to complete its wheat supply to Afghanistan during this period, but India, who had a bad intention, wasted these two months as well.
The aim was that Pakistan would not extend the period again and again and thus we would be able to mislead the Afghan people and the world into seeing that the delivery of relief wheat to the starving Afghan people was being obstructed.
Continued at a snail’s pace so that later negative propaganda could be made against Pakistan that it had cut off the supply of wheat and left the Afghans to starve.
Moreover, under the guise of this wheat aid, India wanted to show its “Muslim friendship” and sympathy to the world.
While giving good news to the Afghan people, Indian media groups started saying that India has come to help them, what if Pakistan is not helping.
Since peace is crucial to ensuring the success of economic initiatives and bilateral trade, therefore, Pakistan continues to exert efforts to help build peace in Afghanistan through diplomatic development efforts.
Pakistan has been underlining the need for global cooperation with Afghanistan and unfreezing the country’s foreign reserves as unblocking the assets would help avert a humanitarian upheaval and mitigate the predicament of the Afghan people.
—The writer is contributing columnist based in Islamabad