Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday warned the international community that repeating the mistake of isolating Afghanistan would be disadvantageous for the world.
The prime minister made the comments as he chaired the second meeting of the Apex Committee on Afghanistan, with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid, Planning Minister Asad Umer, Advisor on Finance Shaukat Tarin, Advisor on Commerce Abdul Razaq Dawood, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf, and senior civil and military officers, a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office said.
The prime minister urged the international community to support the vulnerable people of Afghanistan, vowing that Pakistan would support the Afghan people in every possible way to avert a humanitarian crisis, the statement said.
The Ashraf Ghani-led government in Afghanistan was overthrown in mid-August, and since then, the country is facing a severe financial crunch, with their foreign assets frozen.
According to the statement, the premier highlighted that Pakistan has already committed to immediate relief of in-kind humanitarian assistance worth Rs5 billion, which comprises food commodities including 50,000 metric tons of wheat, emergency medical supplies, winter shelters, and other supplies.
He also said that humanitarian organisations wishing to work from Pakistan to support efforts in Afghanistan should be facilitated and that Islamabad had already committed to being the air and land bridge for humanitarian support to Kabul.
The Apex Committee was briefed that as per directions of the prime minister, the facility of a free COVID-19 vaccination for all Afghans entering Pakistan from land borders is being continued.
Moreover, the process of obtaining a Pakistani visa has been simplified for Afghans.
“Participants of the Apex Committee again expressed concerns about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and emphasised that Pakistan will not abandon Afghans in their time of need,” the statement said.
It is pertinent to mention here that on Sunday, December 19, Pakistan is hosting an extraordinary session of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Foreign Ministers in Islamabad to highlight the plight of vulnerable Afghan people in these testing times and to discuss ways for helping them.