New Delhi, Jun 2 (PTI) In the first high-level visit from India to Afghanistan since the Taliban’s capture of power, an Indian team headed by a senior diplomat is currently on a visit to Kabul to oversee the delivery of New Delhi’s humanitarian assistance to the war-torn country.
The team led by JP Singh, the external affairs ministry’s point person for Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran, will meet senior members of the Taliban, and hold discussions on India’s humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan, according to an official statement.
“A team led by the Joint Secretary (PAI), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), is currently on a visit to Kabul to oversee the delivery operations of our humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan,” the MEA said.
It said the team will meet representatives of the international organisations involved in the distribution of humanitarian assistance.
In addition, the team is expected to visit various places where Indian programmes and projects are being implemented.
In response to the humanitarian needs of the Afghan people, India extended assistance to the Afghan people and it has already dispatched several shipments of humanitarian assistance consisting of 20,000 metric tonnes of wheat, 13 tonnes of medicines, 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine and winter clothing.
These consignments were handed over to the Indira Gandhi Children Hospital in Kabul and UN agencies including the World Health Organisation and the World Food Programme.
Furthermore, India is in the process of shipping more medical assistance and foodgrains to Afghanistan.
“In continuation with our developmental partnership with Afghan brethren, we have gifted one million doses of India-made COVAXIN to Iran to administer to Afghan refugees in Iran. We have also assisted UNICEF by supplying almost 60 million doses of polio vaccine and two tonnes of essential medicines,” the MEA said.
It said India’s development and humanitarian assistance have received widespread appreciation across the entire spectrum of Afghan society.
“In this connection, the Indian team will meet senior members of the Taliban, and hold discussions on India’s humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan,” the MEA said.
It said India has historical and civilisational ties with the Afghan people and these longstanding linkages will continue to guide our approach.