- New Delhi has produced 50,000 tons of wheat in Afghanistan due to food shortages there.
- Afghan-based transport
- Pakistan agreed to facilitate Afghanistan and India through the use of safe and efficient transportation
- “After their arrival in Wagah, trucks were parked in the yard of the National Logistic Cell.
- Lahore-based Customs official told Dawn
“41 trucks, driven by Afghan drivers, were allowed to enter the Pakistani area of Torkham on Monday morning,” a Lahore-based Customs official told Dawn. “After the visa and other legal issues were lifted, the trucks moved to Lahore under strict security provided by police in the Khyber Pakhtunkhawa and Punjab provinces. A convoy of vehicles arrived in Wagah in the evening,” the official said.
According to the official, although the queue was supposed to have 60 vehicles, only 41 trucks were found in Torkham. “After their arrival in Wagah, trucks were parked in the yard of the National Logistic Cell. Prior to that, they were under scrutiny by transportation and security officials. Drivers are also tested under the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) which were jointly established by the relevant authorities, ”he explained.
Commenting on the wheat harvesting process, the official said trucks would be allowed by customs, immigration, and security officials to enter the Indian area of Attari, where they would be monitored by Indian wheat loading authorities.
He said the process of loading the wheat, with the permission of the Indian authorities, returning/entering the Pakistani territory, etc. could take a few hours. “But all these procedures will be completed by Tuesday. On the same day, trucks will be allowed to travel to Afghanistan after the goods and security are approved, ”he said, adding that transporting all the wheat from India by Wagah / Attari and safely transporting it to Afghanistan would take at least a month.
India had previously announced that it would provide Afghanistan with 50,000 tons of wheat for humanitarian reasons. Pakistan agreed to facilitate Afghanistan and India through the use of safe and efficient transportation.
The Indian government has agreed to an Afghan-based transport company to send empty trucks with Torkham and Wagah. Afghan authorities have previously shared details with drivers’ identities (passports, IDs, etc.), type of truck, their manufacturer, capacity, registration number, and other documents with the foreign ministry and relevant authorities in India.
Pakistani authorities had also asked Afghan authorities to ensure the installation of tracking devices on all trucks using the Pakistani territory. Under the SOPs, drivers were also issued temporary accreditation certificates by the tax authorities (commercial transport) at Torkham. Before arriving in Lahore, the authorities also emailed a barcode of these certificates to the tax authorities in Wagah.