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Pakistan renews pledge not to abandon Afghans

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ISLAMABAD:

Pakistan on Friday renewed its pledge not to abandon Afghans if needed, while again expressing concern over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the war-torn neighboring country.

“Pakistan is committed to providing full support to the Afghan people to avert a humanitarian crisis,” Prime Minister Imran Khan said as he chaired the third meeting of the Supreme Committee on Afghanistan. “We welcome the UN appeal for assistance to Afghanistan,” he added.

The committee renewed its appeal to the international community and relief agencies to provide assistance at this critical time to avert economic collapse and save precious lives in Afghanistan. The Prime Minister asked the authorities concerned to explore bilateral cooperation with friendly countries as well as to avoid a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan by exporting qualified and trained manpower, particularly in the medical, IT, financial fields. and accountant.

He also ordered to expand cooperation in railways, minerals, pharmaceuticals and media to help Afghanistan’s rehabilitation and development. Earlier, the committee was briefed on the progress made in in-kind humanitarian aid worth Rs 5 billion which includes food items including 50,000 metric tons of wheat, emergency medical supplies, shelter winter clothes and other supplies.

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The meeting was attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid, Prime Minister’s Trade Adviser Abdul Razzak Dawood, National Security Adviser Dr. Moeed Yusuf, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and other senior civilian and military officers. The supreme committee was informed that Afghanistan was on the verge of a crisis during this harsh winter.

The crisis makes it difficult for the population to acquire enough food and shelter. The committee resolved to stand with the Afghan people and urged relief agencies to take immediate action.

A day earlier, the Taliban said it had approved its first budget for Afghanistan since the group returned to power in August, with no mention of foreign aid. International aid accounted for 40% of Afghanistan’s GDP and constituted 80% of its budget when the former US-backed government was in charge.

When it collapsed in August and the Taliban took over, Western powers froze billions of dollars in aid and assets in what the UN described as an “unprecedented fiscal shock”. . “For the first time in the last two decades, we have made a budget that does not depend on foreign aid and this is a very big achievement for us,” said Taliban finance ministry spokesman, Ahmad Wali Haqmal.

(With the contribution of the agencies)

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2/ https://tribune.com.pk/story/2338815/pakistan-renews-pledge-it-will-not-abandon-afghans

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