Afghanistan was struck by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake last Saturday, leaving at least 1,000 people dead and affecting many villages. There was further damage when another quake hit the region on Wednesday.
Afghanistan earthquakes kill over 2000, Taliban says, as death toll spikes
Pakistan offered support to the country as Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar announced sending rescue and relief teams along with essential aid. However, the consignment and rescuers were not dispatched to Afghanistan after Kabul refused to give clearance. Although there was no official word from either side, the current tension between the two countries seemed to be the main reason for the Afghan rejection.
As per The Express Tribune, the main reason Pakistan did not send rescue and relief teams and the aid was because of the Afghan Taliban’s reluctance to accept them.
The development was seen in the context of ongoing tension between the two countries over the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
Pakistan’s recent series of moves that include the deportation of all illegal Afghan immigrants, visa policy for Afghans and restrictions imposed on Afghan imports, further complicated relations between the two countries.
At a weekly news briefing on Thursday, Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said Pakistan expressed deep sympathy with its Afghan “brothers and sisters, as they face a very difficult situation following the earthquake that took place a few days ago”.
“Pakistan also stands in solidarity with its Afghan brothers and sisters and remains in contact with the Interim Afghan Government to meet any needs that they may have during the relief and recovery efforts,” she added without further sharing details as to why Pakistan did not dispatch aid to the neighbouring country yet.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson strongly condemned the “indiscriminate and disproportionate” use of force by Israeli authorities against the civilian population in Gaza and called for an immediate cessation of hostilities.
“We are deeply concerned about the fast-deteriorating and dire humanitarian situation in Gaza due to the inhumane blockade and collective punishment by Israeli forces. The decision to cut off electricity, fuel and water supplies is unjust and should be reversed, as it would severely impact the lives of the Palestinians residing in the enclave,” she stressed, as per Dawn.