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ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the apex committee on Afghanistan expressed concerns about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and emphasised that Pakistan will not abandon Afghans in their time of need.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan presided over the second meeting of the Apex Committee on Afghanistan, which was attended by Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Information Minister Fawad Ahmed, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid, Planning Minister Asad Umar, Advisor on Finance Shaukat Tarin, Advisor Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, and senior civil and military officers.

Pakistan is hosting an extraordinary session of OIC foreign ministers in Islamabad Sunday (December 19) to highlight the plight of vulnerable Afghan people in these testing times and to discuss ways for helping them.

The premier urged the international community to support the vulnerable people of Afghanistan, while expressing the hope that the world would not repeat the mistake of disengaging with Afghanistan.

He added that Pakistan will support Afghan people in every possible way to avert humanitarian crisis. He highlighted that Pakistan has already committed to immediate relief of in-kind humanitarian assistance worth Rs5 billion, which comprises food commodities including 50,000 MT of wheat, emergency medical supplies, winter shelters, and other supplies.

The Apex Committee was briefed that as per directions of the prime minister, the facility of free Covid vaccination for all Afghans entering Pakistan from land borders is being continued. The process of obtaining Pakistani visa has been simplified for Afghans.

The prime minister also instructed that humanitarian organisations wishing to work from Pakistan to support efforts in Afghanistan should be facilitated as Pakistan has already committed to being the air and land bridge for humanitarian support to Afghanistan.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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