Losing its dominant position as Afghanistan’s largest and the most important trade partner over the decades, some traders in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa state of Pakistan on Wednesday opposed the proposal to allow Afghan traders to import goods from India via the Wagah-Attari border.
According to some Pakistani businessmen, the approval of any such trade agreement is contrary to the Pakistan-Afghanistan Transit Trade Agreement. It does not only create and an uncompetitive environment for the Pakistani made products in the Afghan markets but also negatively affects local industries.
Shahid Hussain, Acting President of Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), said, “the proposal is not feasible because the mutual ATTA was a bilateral, not a trilateral as per the WTO rules.” Doing so will further escalate trade relations between the two nations he added.
Mr. Hussain and other Pakistani trade expert’s great concern is that that if Indian products are allowed to enter Afghanistan via Wagah border, then local industries will be damaged despite the fact the Pakistan products can compete in the market.
Wahga is a village and union council (UC 181) located in the Wahga Zone of Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. The town is famous for the Wagah border ceremony and also serves as a goods transit terminal and a railway station between Pakistan and India.