Islamabad: Pakistan has sent two aircraft loaded with much-needed emergency relief supplies for the people of Ukraine as a humanitarian gesture.
The relief items were dispatched via two PAF C-130 aircraft on Tuesday night to Ukraine. The humanitarian flights are transporting tonnes of medicines, food, generators, bedding, blankets, tents and other relief items from Pakistan to Ukraine via neighbouring Poland.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi handed over the consignment of relief items to the Ukrainian Ambassador Markiian Chuchuk at Nur Khan airbase in Rawalpindi. The Ukrainian ambassador thanked the government and people for sending urgently needed relief items.
The gesture of humanitarian aid shows that Prime Minister Imran Khan, the government and the people of Pakistan “have not forgotten” the people of Ukraine as they face difficult conditions, the foreign minister said. “Pakistan has enjoyed excellent bilateral relations with Ukraine and we are concerned” about the situation and the loss of lives, he said.
Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood and Chairman of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Lt Gen Akhtar Nawaz also accompanied the foreign minister. NDMA has mobilised the relief effort which costs approximately Rs60 million ($334,900).
Nearly 3 million people have fled Ukraine to escape the conflict during the last three weeks following Russia’s attack in Ukraine, according to UN data.
Pakistan urges dialogue to end crisis
“Pakistan has always advocated that the way forward is dialogue and diplomacy,” Qureshi said, adding “We wish the negotiations that are taking place prove to be fruitful.” In recent weeks, the Pakistani foreign minister has held phone talks with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts and emphasised the importance of dialogue, diplomacy and de-escalation.