India will supply 20,000 MTs of wheat assistance to Afghanistan over the next year
India has decided that it will not use the land route through Pakistan to send humanitarian assistance in the form or wheat to Afghanistan. It will, instead, send 20,000 metric tonnes of wheat through the Chabahar Port in Iran.

The decision was announced at the first meeting of the India-Central Asia Joint Working Group (JWG) on Afghanistan held in New Delhi on Tuesday. The meeting was held in keeping with the decisions at the India-Central Asia Summit in 2022.

The meeting was attended by the Special Envoys/Senior Officials of the Republic of India, Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan. Country representatives of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) and United Nations World Food Programme (UNWFP) also participated in the meeting.

According to the Joint Statement issued after the meeting, Country Representative of the UNWFP in Afghanistan briefed the participants on the India-UNWFP partnership to deliver foodgrain assistance to Afghan people and made a presentation on the current humanitarian situation, including the aid requirements for the year ahead.

"India announced supply of 20,000 MTs of wheat assistance to Afghanistan in partnership with UNWFP through Chabahar Port," the statement noted.

The sides took note of the current humanitarian situation and agreed to continue to provide humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people.

India has already sent 50,000 MTs of wheat to Kabul, Afghanistan in tranches using the land route through Pakistan. But the process has been married by delays in getting the requisite approvals and clearances from the Pakistani authorities.

According to the Joint Statement, during the meeting, the Special Envoys/Senior Officials:

* Exchanged views on the current situation in Afghanistan, including the political, security and the humanitarian situation. While emphasizing the respect for sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity and non-interference in its internal affairs, the sides reiterated support for a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan.

* Emphasized the importance of formation of a truly inclusive and representative political structure that respects the rights of all Afghans and ensures equal rights of women, girls and members of minority groups, including access to education.

* Discussed regional threats of terrorism, extremism, radicalization and drug trafficking and also deliberated on the possibilities to coordinate efforts to counter these threats.

* Emphasized that the territory of Afghanistan should not be used for sheltering, training, planning or financing any terrorist acts and reaffirmed that no terrorist organizations including those designated by the UNSC resolution 1267 should be provided sanctuary or allowed to use the territory of Afghanistan.

The Country Representative of the UNODC in Afghanistan highlighted the partnership of India and UNODC in fighting the menace of narcotics in Afghanistan and thanked India for providing humanitarian aid for the Afghan drug user population.

Upon their request, India offered capacity building training courses for the relevant stakeholders/partner agencies of UNODC and the relevant officials/stakeholders of Central Asian Republics in the field of countering illegal drug trafficking, the Joint Statement said.