Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday for the first time jointly appealed to the international community to provide immediate humanitarian and economic assistance to the Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, which is facing acute shortage of essential supplies ahead of winter.
The two leaders discussed the current situation in Afghanistan during a telephonic conversation Prime Minister Khan had with President XI, the PM Office said in a statement here.
"The two leaders discussed the situation in Afghanistan. They called on the international community to provide immediate humanitarian and economic assistance to the people of Afghanistan to alleviate their suffering, prevent instability and flight of people as well as continued engagement for rebuilding of the country," it said.
The two leaders spoke over phone a day after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with the Taliban representatives in Qatar for a high-level meeting.
It also came a day ahead of the second meeting of the foreign ministers of the neighbours of Afghanistan in Tehran, Iran, which would be attended by both China and Pakistan.
In September, China had sent USD 31 million aid, which included food and health supplies to the war-ravaged nation. Similarly, Pakistan had also sent supplies such as cooking oil and medicines to its neighbour.
Rights groups had urged the international community to step into the country to tackle the problem. Recently the international community has pledged over USD 1.2 billion as aid after UN agencies and non-governmental partners launched a flash appeal.
Currently, Afghanistan has around USD10 billion as foreign assets, mostly held in overseas accounts, which are frozen after the Taliban seized power in Kabul in mid-August. Besides this, the US stopped USD 9.4 billion in reserves to the country's central bank, The New York Post reported.
Moreover, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank have also stopped loans, and the Financial Action Task Force warned its 39 member nations to block Taliban assets.
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