Afghanistan to get Pakistani wheat despite Karzai’s saber rattling

June 23rd, 2008 - 2:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, June 23 (DPA) Pakistan is planning to export 50,000 tonnes of wheat to neighbouring Afghanistan despite recent saber-rattling by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, media reports said Monday. The exports will be made from the stocks of state-owned Pakistan Agriculture Storage and Supplies Corporation (PASSCO) at subsidized rates, English-language daily Business Recorder said.

Last weekend Karzai threatened to invade Pakistan in pursuit of insurgent Talibans, triggering new tensions between the two countries and causing a 7 percent decline in the country’s main Karachi bourse.

But this did not impede Pakistan’s willingness to supply wheat or flour at subsidized rates to cash-strapped and hungry Afghanistan. Fifty thousand tonnes of the staple will be sent in addition to the regular 600,000 tonnes annual export to the war-torn country.

The foreign ministry has already sought bids from private transporters to dispatch the wheat.

Pakistan itself is going through a severe wheat shortage and has recently placed orders for importing 2.5 million tonnes.

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