After powerful quake in Afghanistan, India sends help: ‘True 1st responder’
Afghanistan earthquake: India has a historical and civilizational relationship with the Afghan people.
India has stepped up efforts to help in Afghanistan after more than 1,000 people were killed in the country due to a deadly quake. "In order to closely monitor and coordinate the efforts of various stakeholders for the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance and in continuation of our engagement with the Afghan people, an Indian technical team has reached Kabul today and has been deployed in our embassy there," read a statement by the foreign ministry on Thursday.
“India a true first responder,” foreign minister S Jaishankar tweeted.
India has a historical and civilizational relationship with the Afghan people, the foreign ministry asserted. "Recently, another Indian team had visited Kabul to oversee the delivery operations of our humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan and met with senior members of the Taliban. During the visit, an assessment of the security situation was also carried out. Our longstanding links with Afghan society and our development partnership including humanitarian assistance for the people of Afghanistan, will continue to guide our approach going forward," the foreign ministry said.
Hundreds of homes have been destroyed, and thousands of locals have been affected after a strong earthquake hit the eastern Paktika province earlier this week. In heart-wrenching scenes, news agency AP reported, locals were seen digging graves with hands. A majority of them have been left on their own as many international aid agencies withdrew from Afghanistan when the Taliban seized power nearly 10 months ago.
India's decision to send back its technical team to Kabul was welcomed. "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (lEA) welcomes decision by India to return diplomats & technical team to their embassy in Kabul to continue their relations with the Afghan people and their humanitarian assistance," Taliban spokesperson Abdul Qahar Balkhi said in a statement on Thursday, news agency ANI reported.
"First consignment of India's earthquake relief assistance for the people of Afghanistan reaches Kabul. Being handed over by the Indian team there. Further consignment follows," MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted.
(With inputs from ANI, AP)