Islamabad, (Parliament Times) : Prime Minister Imran Khan has ordered immediate shipment of humanitarian assistance worth 5 billion rupees comprising wheat, emergency medical supplies, winter shelters and other supplies to Afghanistan. He gave these instructions, while chairing the first Apex Committee meeting during his visit to the newly established Afghanistan Inter-Ministerial Coordination Cell in Islamabad on Monday.The Prime Minister instructed all ministries to facilitate Afghans to the maximum. He also approved in-principle tariff and sales tax reduction on key Afghan exports to Pakistan.Imran Khan ordered that the facility of free COVID vaccination for all Afghans entering Pakistan from land borders be continued. The Prime Minister also announced Pakistan’s decision to allow the 50,000 metric tons of wheat India has offered to provide Afghanistan as humanitarian assistance to go through Pakistan as soon as modalities are finalized with the Indian side.Welcoming the Prime Minister, the National Security Adviser Dr. Moeed Yusuf, who is also the Convener of AICC, made a detailed presentation to brief the civil and military leadership on the current economic situation in Afghanistan and the progress made by AICC in coordinating national efforts for humanitarian assistance and border facilitation for Afghans.
The Prime Minister also directed that bus service between Peshawar and Jalalabad be revived to facilitate travelers on both sides. To further facilitate Afghans, the visa duration will be relaxed such that visas are granted within three weeks at the most.
The Prime Minister took the opportunity to remind the international community of the collective responsibility to support Afghanistan to avoid a humanitarian crisis.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister instructed the National Security Adviser to visit Afghanistan to hold delegation level talks and agree on specific areas where immediate capacity building support shall be provided to Afghans.
The meeting was attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Advisor on Finance Shaukat Tarin, Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and senior civil and military officers.