India sends drugs to Afghanistan, wheat will follow

India has delivered two tons of medicine to Afghanistan, although it has not officially recognized its Taliban government

NEW DELHI – India delivered two tons of medicine to Afghanistan on Friday, although it did not officially recognize its Taliban government.

The drug was administered at Indira Gandhi Hospital in Kabul, which was established with India’s help in 2004, said Arindam Bagchi, spokesperson for India’s Foreign Ministry.

Last month, India provided Afghanistan with 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines and 1.6 tonnes of medical supplies through the World Health Organization, Bagchi said in a statement.

India has also announced that it will supply 50,000 tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan to alleviate food shortages there and is currently working on the details of the shipment with the Pakistani government. Pakistan does not allow Indian transport vehicles to use its overland route to Afghanistan due to strained relations with the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Since the chaotic takeover of Kabul by the Taliban, an already war-torn Afghan economy, once kept alive thanks to international donations, is on the verge of collapse. Almost 80% of the previous Afghan government’s budget came from the international community. This money, now cut, financed hospitals, schools, factories and ministries.

New Delhi does not have a diplomatic presence in Kabul after evacuating its staff before the US withdrawal from Afghanistan in August. He did, however, meet with a representative of the Taliban in Qatar on August 31.

Before the Taliban took Kabul, India provided Afghan security forces with operational training and military equipment, even though it had no troops on the ground. It was also the largest provider of development assistance to the region in Afghanistan.

The Indian and Pakistani rivals have long tried to exert influence in Afghanistan to meet their security interests.

Indian leaders fear that the rise to power of the Taliban will benefit Pakistan and fuel a long-simmering insurgency in the disputed region of Kashmir, where militants have already gained a foothold.

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