India and Pakistan send aid to Afghanistan after deadly earthquake | earthquake news

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

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

India said it had sent a technical team to the Afghan capital of Kabul to coordinate the delivery of aid, while trucks of food and other necessities arrived from Pakistan, where earthquakes were also felt in some areas.

India’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday it had sent 27 tons of supplies on two flights for delivery to international relief agencies and the Afghan Red Crescent Society.

Afghanistan earthquake
Villagers and officials examine the extent of damage to a village in Bernal district of 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 statement did not give details of the technical team, saying it was sent to “monitor and coordinate the efforts of various stakeholders for the effective delivery of humanitarian aid” as part of “our continued engagement with the Afghan people”.

“As always, India stands in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan, with whom we share centuries-old ties, and remains deeply committed to providing immediate relief assistance to the Afghan people,” the statement said.

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

Residents in the hardest-hit districts of Paktika province in the northeast appeared to be largely alone in trying to survive the earthquake, as the Taliban-led government and the international aid community struggled to provide assistance.

Pakistan said it has sent relief materials to earthquake-affected people in Afghanistan.

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

“Pakistan has assured all possible support to alleviate the suffering of Afghan families affected by the 6.1-magnitude earthquake,” she added.

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

The disaster is a major test for the Taliban government, which is 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 no longer has a diplomatic presence in Kabul after it evacuated its staff before the United States withdrew from Afghanistan last year.

But it has sent 20,000 tons of wheat, 13 tons of medicine, 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines and winter clothes to Afghanistan to help with shortages there since then, according to the State Department.

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

India said it would follow the United Nations in deciding to recognize the Taliban government.

Large parts of South Asia are seismically active because the tectonic plate known as the Indian plate pushes north into the Eurasian plate.

In 2015, an earthquake struck remote northeastern Afghanistan, killing several hundred people in Afghanistan and neighboring northern Pakistan.

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