India has dispatched its first cargo of humanitarian aid to the Afghan people, months after the Taliban gained control of the country. The Taliban regime quickly expressed gratitude to New Delhi and stated that the process “will continue.”
A special flight organised by Kam Air delivered the supplies, which largely consisted of roughly 2 tonnes of pharmaceuticals, from New Delhi to Kabul on Saturday. According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), this aeroplane flew 10 Indians and 94 Afghans from Kabul to New Delhi on Friday as part of ‘Operation Devi Shakti.’
“In view of the severe humanitarian circumstances in Afghanistan,” the MEA said in a statement, “the Government of India has dispatched humanitarian assistance consisting of medical supplies on the return flight today.” These drugs will be handed over to World Health Organization (WHO) representatives in Kabul and administered at Kabul’s Indira Gandhi Children’s Hospital.”
“Gift from the people of India to the people of Afghanistan,” read the labels on the consignment of medications.
Afghanistan’s ambassador to India, Farid Mamundzay, who was appointed by the previous Ashraf Ghani administration, tweeted that these life-saving drugs would aid many Afghan families in “this trying time.”
Two Saroops of the Guru Granth Sahib and a handful of ancient Hindu manuscripts were among the items brought to India by members of the minority community on Friday.
“A total of 669 persons have been rescued from Afghanistan as part of Operation Devi Shakti.” There are 448 Indians and 206 Afghans in this group, which includes members of the Afghan Hindu/ Sikh minority. The MEA reported that 565 persons, including 438 Indians, were evacuated from Afghanistan in August 2021.
However, even as New Delhi awaits “more development” from Pakistan, a proposal to supply 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan remains stalled, according to sources.
Islamabad claimed earlier this month that it would let Afghan trucks transport the shipment until Torkham, a major border crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan, after declaring in November that it would let India to send the shipment across the Wagah border by road.