India-Afghanistan relations: India sending medical aid to Afghanistan is a sign of thaw in bilateral relations

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News: Recently, India decided to send a consignment of medicines to Afghanistan. The medicines were sent on a return flight of a plane that brought evacuees to India last week. This along with previous initiatives are aimed to improve India-Afghan ties.

Read more: Allow unimpeded aid into Afghanistan, say NSAs in Delhi Declaration
About Afghanistan and assistance from the region

The Taliban have welcomed India’s offer and expect assistance from all countries in the region. For instance, Afghanistan negotiated with Pakistan. As a result, Pakistan has allowed India to send wheat to Afghanistan through the Wagah border, which is the shortest route from India. But the wheat is yet to be transported.

Read more: Aiding Afghanistan: On both humanitarian and strategic grounds, India must provide succour to ordinary Afghans
Why does this wheat is not sent to Afghanistan so far?

1. Logistics required to send the 50,000 metric tons is complex, 2. Challenges with paperwork and an interchange of trucks at Wagah border, 3. There is a nearly three-year-long absence of trade relations between India and Pakistan. This has led to the dismantling of systems at the land border.

What are the other challenges associated with the Taliban in power?
Read here: Implications of the rise of Taliban for India – Explained, pointwise

The security concerns, arising from the Taliban’s proximity to Pakistan and the terrorist groups based there, will continue to limit Indian efforts. But, the dispatch of humanitarian aid may provide a diplomatic opportunity for India.

Source: This post is based on the article “India sending medical aid to Afghanistan is a sign of thaw in bilateral relations” published in Indian Express on 13th December 2021.

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