One month after Taliban takeover, trade between Pakistan, Afghanistan resume

Islamabad: Trade between Afghanistan and Pakistan has resumed after more than three weeks of uncertainty in Kabul, according to media reports.

The business was halted in major cities in Afghanistan after the Ashraf Ghani government collapsed last month following the Taliban takeover.

“For the last 20 days, I didn’t place any order in Pakistan because of fear that the situation could be worse when the Taliban began capturing major cities,” Anadolu Agency quoted Afghan businessman Abdul Rahim QaziZai as saying.

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“Now, I meet with my Pakistani counterparts and place orders for sugar and cooking oil,” he said while going to Kabul via the Torkham border after spending three days in Peshawar, the capital city of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

According to Anadolu Agency, hundreds of trucks lined the Khyber Pass, the main road connecting Pakistan and Afghanistan via the Torkham border, on Wednesday. They were full of food products waiting to cross the border toward eastern Jalalabad in Afghanistan.

Most drivers were waiting for three or four days near the border because of a lack of parking on the Afghan side. But the long queues provide a clear picture of economic activity resuming between the two countries, Anadolu Agency further reported.

The Torkham, which is the main border crossing, was closed for pedestrian movement by the Taliban last week. However, the border was later reopened.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s envoy to Afghanistan Mansoor Ahmad Khan on Tuesday met the Taliban interim government’s acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi and discussed strengthening bilateral cooperation between both countries.
The meeting, according to the Taliban spokesperson, took place at the ministry of foreign affairs of Afghanistan. Sohail Shahin said the two discussed “smooth movement of people at Torkham and Spin Boldak and problems of Afghan refugees in Pakistan,” The Express Tribune reported.

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