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In a major turnaround Taliban thanks India for delivering humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan

The batch of medical assistance consisting of two tons of essential life saving medicines sent by India reached a hospital in Kabul (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@FMamundzay)af

Once known for its hostility towards India, the Taliban has now thanked New Delhi for delivering urgent humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.

The Taliban’s reaction came after India delivered the third batch of medical assistance consisting of two tonnes of essential lifesaving medicines to Afghanistan on Friday as part of India’s ongoing humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, India said that it stands committed to continue our special relationship with the people of Afghanistan and provide them humanitarian assistance.” In this endeavour, we had recently supplied 500,000 doses of COVID vaccine and 1.6 tonnes of medical assistance to Afghanistan through the World Health Organization (WHO). In coming weeks, India would be supplying more batches of humanitarian assistance consisting of medicines and food grains to Afghanistan,” the ministry said.

The Chief Spokesperson of the Taliban regime, Zabihullah Mujahid, said in his tweets that the Taliban regime is grateful to India for its humanitarian assistance and cooperation.

“Six tonnes of medicines arrived in Kabul this morning as part of India's assistance to Afghanistan. A few days ago, India also sent 500,000 doses of corona vaccine and many other items to Afghanistan. The Islamic Emirate is grateful to India for its humanitarian assistance and cooperation.”

The spokesman’s comments came at a time when differences over the Durand Line—the imperial boundary between Afghanistan and Pakistan have seriously soured ties between the Taliban and Islamabad.

India’s humanitarian diplomacy began after the Taliban took over Kabul last August, India sent its first tranche of humanitarian aid, comprising medical supplies and the first batch of humanitarian aid of medical supplies on December 11.

Last week, India sent 500,000 doses of Covaxin to Afghanistan after the Taliban captured power. These doses are being sent to war-torn Afghanistan under Narendra Modi government’s Vaccine Maitri programme. The second consignment of jabs will reach Kabul in the second week of January.

Also Read: India reaches out to Afghan people with a million doses of Covid-19 vaccine

Though India has not recognised the Taliban regime, it has, nevertheless, offered to help the people of Afghanistan.

India is also sending 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan by road through Pakistan. After sitting over the Indian proposal, the Imran Khan government had told New Delhi on December 3 that it will allow Afghan trucks for transport of wheat and life-saving medicines. Delhi has said that there cannot be pre-conditions attached to humanitarian assistance.

According to the UN estimates, nearly 23 million Afghans are facing acute food shortage, with as many as 3.2 million children at the risk of malnutrition.