Pakistan ends blockage for 3,700 Afghan containers
By Sayed Jawad - Tue Feb 05 2013, 8:30 pm
Afghan officials on Tuesday announced that Pakistan opened Torkham border gate after three months and allowed thousands of Afghan traders containers to enter Afghanistan following counter-measures taken by the Afghan government.
The officials further added around 3,700 Afghan containers were blocked by Pakistan during the past rhee months.
Wahidullah Ghazikhel spokesman for the ministry of commerce and trade of Afghanistdan said the government of Afghanistan recently took counter-measures and blocked around 600 Pakistan containers.
In the meantime observers believe that recent trilateral talks hosted by British prime minister also had impact on Pakistan to open Torkham border gate.
Ghazikhel said Afghan containers which were blocked in Pakistan have started moving however Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries officials are saying that Afghan traders are still facing some problems including high cost of transportation which prevents fluent transportation of the containers.
Deputy Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries chief Khan Jan Alokkozai said majority of the containers comprised of food items which have deteriorated after they were blocked for longer period.
He said, “We are facing transit issues during the past ten years after NATO troops came to Afghanistan as the neighboring countries of Afghanistan are getting sensitive towards the Afghan government. They are blocking Afghan traders containers due to various reasons.”
Iran is also occassionally creating problems for the Afghan traders besides Pakistan. Khan Jan Alokozai said, Afghanistan is looking to find alternative ways for the transit of traders goods if the two main routes through Pakistan and Iran are blocked.
According to Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) officials around 200 containers belonging to Afghanistan are coming to Pakistan on daily basis while around 50 to 100 Pakistan containers are exported to Pakistan or Central Asian countries via Afghanistan.