Pakistan, Afghanistan trade at standstill

Islamabad: Businessmen have requested the concerned authorities to allow export of Pakistani consignments to Afghanistan through the Chaman, Torkham and Khorlachi borders which were facing hurdles due to restrictions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, it was reported on Tuesday.

In a statement issued on Monday, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) President Anjum Nisar highlighted that bilateral trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan was at a standstill, reports The Express Tribune.

Earlier, the borders were sealed due to the pandemic but the Pakistan government re-opened them this month and allowed movement of cargo to Afghanistan, he said.

“However, the concerned authorities on the borders are allowing only those trucks to pass which are carrying cargo under the Afghan Transit Trade,” he said.

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“Pakistani exporters are facing heavy losses as thousands of trucks, carrying perishable items such as rice, potatoes, vegetables and medicinal items, are stuck at the Pakistan-Afghan borders.”

The official stressed that these items could not be exported to any other country except Afghanistan and requested the concerned authorities to allow Pakistani export consignments to enter Afghanistan.

He highlighted that even in the midst of COVID-19, trade between Iran and Afghanistan was not halted and was running smoothly whereas Pakistani exporters were facing hurdles and trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan was at a standstill, which was damaging the economy.

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