Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday urged the international community to fulfil its collective responsibility to avert a grave humanitarian crisis confronting the people of strife-torn Afghanistan.
His remarks came amidst a visit of acting Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi who landed in Islamabad on Wednesday, heading a 20-member high-level delegation, on his maiden foreign trip. Khan tweeted that Pakistan would not abandon the people of Afghanistan in the difficult hour and is sending essential items, including medical supplies, COVID-19 vaccines to the country.
“Pakistan has always stood with the Afghan people in their hour of need. We have assured Afghan acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi & his delegation we will provide all possible humanitarian aid to Afghanistan,” Khan tweeted.
“We are sending essential food items, emergency medical supplies & winter shelters to provide immediate relief to Afghan people. We will also provide free Covid 19 vaccines to all Afghans travelling across the border into Pakistan.”
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Khan also “urged the international community to fulfil its collective responsibility to avert a grave humanitarian crisis confronting people of Afghanistan.” The Express Tribune reported that Muttaqi called on prime minister Khan. But so far there was no official announcement about the meeting.
However, it was confirmed by the officials that Muttaqi had reached the ministry of foreign affairs to meet Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi for in-depth talks on various matters.
Almost 3 million Afghan refugees, half of them unregistered, have been living in Pakistan since the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and subsequent waves of violence and later civil war, according to the UN.
Pakistan has been trying to convince the world to diplomatically engage with the Taliban after they seized control of Kabul on August 15. However, the international community is still sceptical about the hardline Islamists, especially on issues like terrorism emanating from the war-torn country and their promises to respect human rights.
Afghanistan has been under Taliban rule since August 15 when the Afghan militant group ousted the elected government of President Ashraf Ghani and forced him to flee the country and take refuge in the UAE.