Afghan traders are facing delays as Pakistani officials have not yet allowed the release of goods stranded at the Karachi seaport, according to officials from the Afghanistan-Pakistan Joint Chamber of Commerce.
During a recent visit by Afghanistan’s acting commerce minister to Pakistan, Pakistani officials agreed to release the goods; however, the promised implementation has yet to commence, stated Naqibullah Safi, the executive chief of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Joint Chamber of Commerce.
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce acknowledges the delay and reveals that Pakistan is actively working on a plan to facilitate the release of these containers.
Abdul Salam Javad, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce spokesman, emphasized that although permission hasn’t been granted yet, Pakistan is making efforts to initiate the implementation process soon.
Economic experts are urging the Taliban administration to take decisive action in resolving trade issues between the two nations, particularly in ensuring the release of the stranded goods.
Despite existing trade agreements between Afghanistan and Pakistan, Afghan traders continue to encounter obstacles in transit through Pakistan, with approximately 4,000 Afghanistan-bound containers remaining stranded at Karachi port for several months.
The Pakistani government has escalated the expulsion of Afghan refugees since November 1, resulting in over 320,000 Afghan migrants being forcibly deported back to Afghanistan.
A significant portion of those forced to return are women and children, exacerbating an already dire humanitarian crisis, especially with the harsh winter conditions.
Many returnees face an uncertain future as they lack jobs, shelter, and opportunities, raising concerns about their well-being and survival in their home country.
Additionally, restrictions on education for female children within Afghanistan add to the challenges faced by these vulnerable returnees, further highlighting the need for humanitarian support.
The situation underscores the pressing need for international efforts to address the plight of Afghan refugees and provide assistance to those returning to Afghanistan in these difficult circumstances.