Friday, June 21, 2024

Pakistani Exporters Suffer Huge Losses as Torkham Gate with Afghanistan Shut for Five Days

Immigration News

Fidel Rahmati
Fidel Rahmati
Fidai Rahmati is the editor and content writer for Khaama Press. You may follow him at Twitter @FidelRahmati
Trucks loaded with supplies to leave for Afghanistan are seen stranded after the main border crossing in Torkham was closed , Pakistan, on February 21, 2023. (Photo/Reuters)
Pakistani exporters suffer huge losses as Torkham Gate with Afghanistan shut for five days.

A trade group reported on Friday that over 7,000 trucks loaded with goods, including perishable items like fruits, vegetables, juices, poultry, and eggs, have been stuck at the Pakistan-Afghanistan Torkham border for the past five days as a result of the Pakistani government’s closure of the crossing point.

Zia-ul-Haq Sarhadi, the director of the Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI), warned that if the Pakistani government did not open the gate, exporters and businesspeople would suffer severe losses as a result of the border closure.

Torkham is an essential commercial thoroughfare and a trade route for Pakistan to reach Central Asian countries.

Pakistani media reported that the Afghan Taliban closed the Torkham border crossing on Sunday after Islamabad accused Kabul of providing safe havens to Pakistan Taliban militants whose cross-border attacks have caused a spike in violence. 

While Taliban officials in Nangarhar province of Afghanistan said on Sunday that Pakistani officials closed the border and did not allow the Afghan patients for medical treatment.

On the other hand, on Friday, in another instance, Sarhadi said that Pakistan could not make the border crossing “completely functioning due to administrative issues”.

Earlier this week, the Taliban administration in Afghanistan closed the Torkham gate between Afghanistan and Pakistan, accusing Islamabad of breaching its commitments.

The closure of the crossing border came after an exchange of fire occurred on Monday, a day after the Pakistani troops did not allow the movement of Afghan patients for medical treatment while pledging to allow them without valid travel documents.

Every sugar container is subject to a daily demurrage fee of Rs 45,000. In contrast, the container holding commodities in transit are subject to a daily detention fee of USD 160. Similarly, every truck is subject to a daily holding charge of Rs 6,000, according to Sarhadi.

The closure of the Torkham gate of Spin Boldak between Afghanistan and Pakistan caused concern among business people and other stakeholders on both sides.

However, On Friday afternoon, a Media centre in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province posted on Twitter that The Torkham gate has been reopened conditionally after negotiations between the Afghan-Pakistani officials.

The statement added, “Only Afghan travellers will be allowed to enter the country from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Pakistani travellers will be allowed from Afghanistan to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa”.

 “Negotiations are going on to allow passengers and transit on both sides; however, Afghan citizens are advised to refrain from going to Torkham until further notification,” read the statement.


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