India and Pakistan send aid to Afghanistan after deadly earthquake | News about earthquakes

The two South Asian countries are providing humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, where a powerful earthquake has killed more than 1,000 people.

India and Pakistan have sent humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, where a powerful earthquake has killed more than 1,000 people.

India said it sent a technical team to the Afghan capital, Kabul, to coordinate relief efforts, while trucks carrying food and other supplies arrived from Pakistan, where tremors were also felt in some areas.

India’s foreign ministry said on Thursday it had sent 27 tons of supplies on two flights to be handed over to international aid agencies and the Afghan Red Crescent.

Villagers and officials examine the extent of damage in a village in Bernal District, Paktika Province, Afghanistan [Ahmad Sahel Arman/AFP]

The ministry said its team has been deployed to its embassy in Kabul, which has been vacant since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August.

The ministry’s statement did not provide details about the technical team, saying it had been sent to “closely monitor and coordinate the efforts of various stakeholders for the effective delivery of humanitarian aid” as part of a “continuation of our commitment to the Afghan people”.

“As always, India stands in solidarity with the Afghan people, with whom we share age-old ties, and remains determined to provide immediate assistance to the Afghan people,” the statement said.

Photos of the relief effort were accompanied by a tweet from Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar: “India, a real first responder.”

Residents of the worst-hit districts of Paktika province in the northeast appeared to be surviving largely on their own after the earthquake, as the Taliban-led government and the international aid community struggled to secure aid.

Pakistan said it has sent relief supplies for the people affected by the earthquake in Afghanistan.

“The shipment arranged by the National Disaster Management Authority consists of family tents, tarpaulins, blankets and emergency medicines,” a statement from the Pakistan Prime Minister’s office and shared with Al Jazeera said on Thursday.

“Pakistan has pledged all possible support to alleviate the suffering of Afghan families affected by the 6.1-magnitude earthquake,” it said.

earthquake in Afghanistan
A man carries bags of bread carried by a helicopter in Gayan, Afghanistan [Ali Khara/Reuters]

The disaster is a major test for the Taliban government, which has been largely isolated and shunned by many countries over human rights concerns and cut off from much direct international aid due to sanctions imposed by Western governments.

India was left without a diplomatic presence in Kabul after it evacuated its personnel before the US withdrew from Afghanistan last year.

But it has since sent 20,000 tons of wheat, 13 tons of medicines, 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines and winter clothing to Afghanistan to help with the shortages, according to the state ministry.

Indian officials held talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan for the first time early this month to discuss the distribution of humanitarian aid. India’s envoys have previously met with Taliban representatives in Qatar’s capital Doha, where it has an office.

India has said it will follow the lead of the United Nations in deciding whether or not to recognize the Taliban government.

Large areas of South Asia are seismically active as a tectonic plate known as the Indian plate pushes northward into the Eurasian plate.

In 2015, an earthquake struck the remote Afghan northeast, killing hundreds of people in Afghanistan and nearby northern Pakistan.

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