Pakistan, China urge the world to send humanitarian aid to Kabul

In a rare joint call, Pakistan’s leader and Chinese leader Tuesday urged the international community to send humanitarian and economic aid to Afghanistan immediately.

A Chinese government statement said Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed the Afghanistan issue by telephone.

The two leaders later issued a statement saying that the Afghan people need international help to ease their suffering, prevent instability and rebuild the country after the United States withdrew and the Taliban seized power in August.

The joint statement came shortly after humanitarian aid organizations revealed that Afghanistan is short of food and medicine, and that conditions will worsen with the onset of winter.

The latest developments also come a day after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with representatives of the Taliban in Qatar to discuss various issues.

Pakistan and China are longtime allies. The two countries, along with a number of other countries, have sent humanitarian aid to Kabul over the past two months.

Pakistan wants the world community to disburse Afghan assets to allow Kabul to use its own funds to prevent a deepening crisis.

Currently, the Taliban government does not have access to the Central Bank of Afghanistan’s $9 billion reserve fund, most of which is held by the New York Federal Reserve. [ab/uh]

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