KABUL (Pajhwok): Islamabad has turned down New Delhi’s proposal for the transportation of 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat as humanitarian assistance for Afghanistan either on Indian or Afghan trucks through the Wagah border, a media report said on Thursday.
The Express Tribune quoted officials as saying that India seemed to be deliberately spreading “misinformation” about Pakistani modalities for the shipment of the humanitarian assistance via the Wagah border.
As per the modalities, Pakistan proposed that trucks under the banner of World Food Programme (WFP) should transport the wheat and other essentials from India to Afghanistan.
Pakistan has already taken WFP on board and the UN agency is ready to execute the plan, a senior Foreign Office told the newspaper on condition of anonymity.
The official clarified the Pakistani modalities should not be seen as conditions. Rather, he added, they were meant to facilitate delivery of India’s humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.
However, Delhi floated a counter proposal that the wheat should be shipped either on Indian or Pakistani trucks. “This option is not feasible,” said the official, who explained that India had been given permission to use Pakistan’s land route on an exceptional basis.
“Since there is no two-way trade between Afghanistan and India through Pakistan, even Delhi knows its trucks cannot be used for the transportation of wheat.”
The official said if Pakistan allowed Indian trucks and their crew to use its land route, some incident might happen that would trigger a diplomatic crisis.
Secondly, Pakistan did consider the option of using Afghan trucks. However, it was told that Afghan trucks used Pakistani lorries for exports to India.
Afghan trucks transfer goods destined for India on Pakistani trucks because of documentation and other requirements. They unload the consignments at the Wagah border.
“Therefore, the option of using Indian or Afghan trucks is not feasible,” the official maintained.
Pakistani authorities feel that India is now dragging its feet after it realised that Islamabad was ready to create an exception for Delhi’s humanitarian assistance for Afghanistan.