Indian ‘technical team’ reaches Kabul embassy, IAF flies in quake relief

Taking a step-by-step step towards reopening the Indian embassy in Afghanistan, Delhi sent a “technical team” to Kabul on Thursday, where it will be stationed at the embassy to coordinate the delivery of humanitarian aid.

India also sent aid to the people of Afghanistan, a day after a deadly earthquake claimed more than 1,000 lives in Paktika province, near the border with Pakistan.

“The first shipment of India’s earthquake relief for the people of Afghanistan reaches Kabul. Handed over by the Indian team there,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said in a Twitter post, attaching photos of an Indian Air Force plane in Kabul.

While Delhi said the deployment of the Indian “technical team” was to oversee and coordinate the delivery of humanitarian aid, it is seen as the first step towards the reopening of the Indian embassy, ​​which was closed last August. closed when the Taliban took control of the country.

Underlining that India has a “historical and civilizational relationship with the Afghan people,” a statement from the MEA said: “To closely monitor and coordinate the efforts of various stakeholders for the effective delivery of humanitarian aid, and to continue our commitment to the Afghan people, an Indian technical team has reached Kabul today and has been deployed there in our embassy.”

On June 2, a team led by JP Singh, Joint Secretary of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran (PAI) in the MEA, visited Kabul to “monitor the delivery operations of our humanitarian aid to Afghanistan” and met with senior members of the Taliban. There too, an assessment has been made of the security situation, according to the MEA.

An Afghan villager retrieves his belongings from the rubble of his house destroyed by an earthquake in the Spera district of southwestern Khost province, Afghanistan, June 22, 2022. (AP)

“Our longstanding ties to Afghan society and our development partnership, including humanitarian aid to the people of Afghanistan, will continue to guide our approach going forward,” it said.

The attack on the Karte Parwan gurdwara in Kabul last week heightened the perception of threat and cast a shadow over plans to restart some of the embassy’s functions – visas, humanitarian aid, trade in some sectors – but the intention to services continues, sources said. According to the sources, there has been a political call to start humanitarian aid.

The team that traveled to Kabul on June 2, more than nine months after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, found that health and education infrastructure was crumbling, but the security situation showed some improvement.

This initial review has been shared here with management.

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