Pakistan is expected to reopen its routes for Afghan exports in two days, the Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) said on Saturday. Pakistan has said that routes will be opened on condition that healthy safety measures are prioritized.
ACCI has said that in the past Pakistan has hindered the entry of Afghan goods under false pretenses.
The Afghan Ministry of Commerce and Industries said that Pakistani routes for Afghan exports will be opened six days a week.
“Pakistan sets conditions for exports of our products and makes illogical excuses to exploit the exports for its benefits,” said Zaman Hashemi, the head of ACCI.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Interior in a notification letter has said that the entry points at Torkham and Spin Boldak will remain open six days a week under particularly strict health safety measures to avoid the further spread of COVID-19.
“With the persistent efforts made by the Ministry of Commerce and Industries we managed to reach a conclusion with Pakistan to reopen its routes for our exports. These routes will be opened,” said Jawad Dabeer, the head of the media department of the Ministry of Commerce and Industries.
Economic experts have said that Afghan government should raise the issue of trade and transit with Pakistan and help the Afghan business community conduct their exports easily.
“The Afghan government needs to settle the trade and transit issues with Pakistan permanently, we have been facing this issue for a long time, but we only make complaints–we never took practical action,” said Najibullah Zaki, a university lecturer.
Pakistani officials recently said they will allow only 100 trucks a day, which is less than in the past, and these goods will be transferred in Pakistani vehicles that are first bringing goods from Pakistan to Afghanistan. According to the ministry, at least 500 trucks entered Pakistan from Afghanistan on a daily basis before the lockdown.
Pakistan closed the crossing points for Afghan goods three months ago. But the Pakistani exports to Afghanistan continued normally during this period.
Last week business people said that the one-sided implementation of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Trade and Transit Agreement (APTTA) is the main cause of problems blocking Afghanistan’s exports into the Pakistani markets.
The business community called on Pakistan to abide by its commitment regarding APTTA.
Business people also accused the Afghan Ministry of Commerce and Industries for failing to persuade Pakistan to act upon its commitments with APTTA.