Open Wagah or lose transit route, Ghani warns Pakistan

Published: September 10, 2016
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PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: Kabul has threatened to shut the Afghan transit route for Pakistani exports to Central Asia if Islamabad does not allow Afghan traders to use Lahore’s Wagah border for trade with India.

“If Pakistan does not allow Afghan traders to use the Wagah border for imports and exports of their goods, Afghanistan will also not allow Pakistan to use Afghan transit routes to reach Central Asia and other countries for exports,” President Ashraf Ghani said in a meeting with UK’s special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Owen Jenkins in Kabul. “Afghanistan is no more a landlocked country as it has many transit routes for the import and export of goods,” Ghani added, according to a Pashto-language statement posted on Friday by the president’s website.

Pakistan must allow Afghanistan direct trade access to India through Wagah: Ghani

The remarks came amid tension between the two uneasy neighbours over several issues and particularly in the backdrop of Pakistan’s  decision to introduce a new mechanism at its Torkham border that requires every Afghan to carry passport and visa for crossing the border.

“Pakistan has always shut its routes on Afghanistan’s fresh fruit, causing loss of millions of dollars to our traders,” the Afghan president said. He added that Afghanistan was making efforts to boost economic cooperation in the region and wanted Pakistan and other regional countries to remove all technical problems that create obstacles in economic cooperation.

When contacted, a Foreign Office official refused to comment on Ghani’s statement, saying a response will be given after due consultations.

Afghan officials said Kabul has long been demanding the use of Pakistan’s land route to deliver goods at the Indian border town of Attari via Wagah. However, Pakistan is reluctant to grant such permission in view of the state of its relations with New Delhi.

Afghan sources insist that Afghan goods, mostly fresh fruits go up to Wagah but then it is not allowed to go up to Attari. “It is offloaded in Wagah and then carried in carts up to Attari and loaded on again. This adds to transportation cost as well as to a significant spoilage,” an Afghan source said.

Islamabad refuses Kabul trucks access to Delhi

“We have asked that our goods mostly fresh fruit be allowed to go up to Attari and then transferred to Indian trucks in a back to back arrangement. This alone can reduce cost and spoilage to an extent that will make our export of fruit to India double or triple,” he said.

Ghani also obliquely accused Pakistan of sponsoring terrorism, saying the recently organised and well-coordinated terrorist attacks showed that the terrorists receive aid from outside.

“Support to the terrorist groups is an action contrary to the good neighbourhood and all international norms and action of the neighbouring country is no more acceptable to the people and gov’t of Afghanistan,” he was quoted as saying.

“We will use diplomatic channels to stop all efforts to destabilise Afghanistan through terrorist groups.  I want our message should be conveyed to Pakistan,” the Afghan leaders further said.

On his part the British envoy said his country will support the Afghan-led intra-Afghan dialogue and will keep on efforts along with the regional countries. Pakistani officials say repatriation of the refugees could gain momentum and that many would return this and next year.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 10th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (99)

  • Kulbhushan yadav
    Sep 10, 2016 - 9:05AM

    Lets see the usual response from Pakistanis on this. Afghans are ungrateful. Send afghan refugees back. Afghans are the sole cause of all pakistani problem. Afghans are puppet of India etc etc.Recommend

  • abood
    Sep 10, 2016 - 9:05AM

    Lets open it and let the afghans flood india with there national food( cocaine hasish and all sorts of drugs).we pakistanis opened our borders and payed a heavy price.time for the indians to pay a price too of the new love relationship.
    Secondly so much of worry in afghanistan for controlling our borders in pakistan now.this shows we are doing it right as terrorist cant cross it now.good work pmln and army.Recommend

  • maiwind khattak
    Sep 10, 2016 - 9:11AM

    Talibanisation was promoted systematically to curb pashtun identity and evolve a artifical concept of muslim solidarity as a replacement to 2 nation theory after the 1971 debacle.We afghans defeat taliban everyday on the other side of durand but unless the motherload GHQ is punished,innocents will continue to die.Recommend

  • Ahmed Ali khan
    Sep 10, 2016 - 9:15AM

    Is Pakistan so weak that even a country like Afghanistan order us and threaten us?Recommend

  • M.S.
    Sep 10, 2016 - 9:18AM

    Pakistan should give free hand to Afghan traders to pass through Waghah border but would make sure that no trader or his vehicle stops in Pakistan. Within months these Afghan traders will make India biggest Arms and Drugs market of the world. This is the only method to teach India a lesson who is behind this drama.Recommend

  • PakPower
    Sep 10, 2016 - 9:19AM

    Okay. We will shut down Torkham and Chaman, stay happy not-landlocked-Afghanistan.Recommend

  • Sun tzu
    Sep 10, 2016 - 9:28AM

    Good warning! Recommend

  • AD
    Sep 10, 2016 - 9:37AM

    Pakistan can no longer arm twist Afghanistan. They will use Chabahar port for exporting goods to India.Recommend

  • shafi
    Sep 10, 2016 - 9:38AM

    what our ambassador doing there ,can our ambassador REMIND this so called afghan president that we r hosting 3.5million people on our soil,can india do it ,and if u continue to parrot thankless tone, get ur refuges backRecommend

  • Humza
    Sep 10, 2016 - 9:42AM

    As long as Kabul takes its orders from India, it will be difficult for Pakistan to open the borders. I think Pakistan should focus instead of securing its borders like all nations must do to prevent criminals crossing the border like the Indian agent Bushan Yadav. India continues to use Afghanistan as a base for cross border mischief like it has the last 70 years. Let Afghanistan trade with whatever nation it wishes when the border is closed completely. This empty boast makes no sense when millions of Afghan refugees refuse to return to Kabul or move over to India but instead stay in Pakistan. Islamabad should calls Ghani’s bluff and close the border until there is a proper wall, fence and better controlled access. Pakistan should focus instead on CPEC and building its economy, CPEC through China can be arranged to give access to Central Asia by another route because transit through Afghanistan will always be insecure.Recommend

  • Lakhkar Khan
    Sep 10, 2016 - 10:00AM

    Keep your terrorist and their sponsors away from Pakistan. Keep Wagah and Afghan both closed. You can have love fest with India but not on Pakistan’s expense. Recommend

  • Amir
    Sep 10, 2016 - 10:01AM

    Pakistan should be jumping the band wagon in ensuring trade to Afghanistan instead of closing borders and creating hurdles.

    It will be the day when Iran-Afghan road and link is created, and we will be left lurking. CPEC should have an “A” in it a well.

    Wake up PakistanRecommend

  • Sodomite
    Sep 10, 2016 - 10:02AM

    Pakistan and Afghanistan are eternal foes who will never rest until one of the other is vanquished. Recommend

  • Londonwala
    Sep 10, 2016 - 10:06AM

    If they could hear Pakistan wouldn’t have uneasy relations with three of its neighbors…So no use telling them as how could somone who pretends to be deaf; hear??? Only a Marshall law can bring some positive change..Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Sep 10, 2016 - 10:08AM

    Just the other day I wrote here that Afghan refugees should also be made to exit the country from Wagah to speed up the deportation process, but ET didn’t print. Now since Afghan government is clamoring for an access eastwards, I say let the Afghan experience a tikka on the forehead welcome from their new best pals in India.Recommend

  • Sri Varahadev
    Sep 10, 2016 - 10:27AM

    Excellent that India aided Chahbahar Port which provides an alternative to Pakistani ports for essential imports, sees early harvest by putting some intended steel in Afghan spines when it comes to dealing with Punjab Province dominated Pakistan.Recommend

  • James
    Sep 10, 2016 - 10:30AM

    Bypass Afghnistan and block it from CPEC benefits. Use Iran to connect central asia. Afghanistan is an indian state now just like bangladesh so throw it out from friend list.
    Expell All Afghans. Recommend

  • point
    Sep 10, 2016 - 10:42AM

    yes, Please deport all afghans via Wagah immediately. :). And Mr. Ashraf Ghani, please give a go to blockade. We can block NATO supplies, Oil supply, we will even stop the current cart system. Mr. india and Pakistan are enemy states. Therefore it is important for our border to make sure that whatever is being transported is purely fruits and not something in between. Even we know if anything else is transported and turns out to be human being from afghanistan or any terrorist or weapons, will india or you take 100% own responsibility for it ??Recommend

  • JD
    Sep 10, 2016 - 10:42AM

    1) If you’re not landlocked and as free as you claim to be, export your stuff to India with a closed Wagah border

    2) Pakistan shouldn’t mind blocking Chaman and Torkham border for goods you receive through these routes.

    Will see who blinks first.Recommend

  • NKAli
    Sep 10, 2016 - 10:47AM

    @AD: Let them use Chah Bahar seaport, in fact, why are they not already using it?
    The Indian hegemony over Afghanistan travels way back to Ranjit Singh and the Afghans are completely besotted by India’s way of life. This relationship is quite secure and becomes a headache due to the inconsistency in the Afghan mental framework. Salams Recommend

  • Rustam
    Sep 10, 2016 - 11:04AM

    @Kulbhushan yadav: Do you think that Pakistan needs to respond? What I foresee is that the issue will die itself, as Pakistan will ignore it.Recommend

  • Malik Saab
    Sep 10, 2016 - 11:18AM

    @maiwind khattak: Those Pushtuns who have a huge problem with Pakistan should go back to their perceived motherland. If you want to stay in Pakistan then love this country. Enough should be enough. The racist Pushtoons like you should be confronted at all costs. No More tolerance against anyone who bad mouth our country after living on our soil. Get out of race superiority concept. Pushtoons are living in denial and shove their problems on others. This is what you are doing right now. Recommend

  • raw is war
    Sep 10, 2016 - 11:31AM

    @abood:

    Don’t worry, situation in India is worse. Did u see Udta Punjab.Recommend

  • Malik Saab
    Sep 10, 2016 - 11:38AM

    Pakistan should reconsider American funded TAPI Pipeline project immediately. This project major line is crossing from Afghanistan. TAPI project should be stalled immediately.Secondly throw all Afghan refugees out of Pakistan. Thirdly take the toughest stance against those Pushtoons who are living in Pakistan but their loyalties are with Afghanistan. We should remember that Achakzai celebrated Afghan independence day this time and on the 14th august he celebrated the black day of this region. The guys like him are sitting in our assemblies. We have to take the toughest stance against all miscreants. Enough should be enough. . All hindrances to the progress should be dealt with the toughest stance possible. Recommend

  • Iftikhar
    Sep 10, 2016 - 11:41AM

    Pak need to Block Afghan Transit trade from KHI to Tokham (Afghan Transit trade is major cause of smuggling to Pakistan), Expel All Afghans, close all borders allow Visa entry onlyRecommend

  • muz
    Sep 10, 2016 - 11:55AM

    Afghans are too dumb to understand their friends and foes, Mr. Ghani speaks what their so called friends asked him to deliver, they will use you and flush like anything and the time is near to show the consequences of keeping them your allies.

    Countries that are financing the terrorists are no more hidden from the world so stop talking and say something your people want to listen.Recommend

  • Fahre Afghan
    Sep 10, 2016 - 11:56AM

    Pakistan export are down by 27.5%(todays tribune), Remittances by 20% & FDI by 77%. Such an expensive security state will be unable to function if you close the trade routes. Recommend

  • Khalid
    Sep 10, 2016 - 11:56AM

    This country is on the verge of falling to Taliban and they are ordering us to do this and that. Ghani is suffering from Modi Superiority Syndrome.Recommend

  • Khwaja
    Sep 10, 2016 - 11:59AM

    Mr Ghani .please close border. Take your people back from pakistan. I really dont want to see any of you or even talk to you. Good riddance. Recommend

  • Abbassin
    Sep 10, 2016 - 12:00PM

    @Sri Varahadev: Indeed, export of goods through Chahbahar will benefit Afghanistan’s trade, particularly fruit trade, forgetting the fact that the time and distance involved will result in excessive spoilage and that will make the cost of the fruit prohibitive for an ordinary Indian-unless of course the love fest between the two does not care about such mundane matters- what a preposterous calculation!!! Another thing, trade or any sort of passage through the territory of a sovereign country is the prerogative of that country, and such a privilege is asked for and not demanded through blackmail and threats, and that too by a country, which has been on the receiving end of a largess from Pakistan, in the shape of limb and treasure and of course being a generous host of 3.5 Million refugees, for over Thirty-five years.Recommend

  • Pashtun
    Sep 10, 2016 - 12:25PM

    Pakistan should open Wagah border on the 1st occasion for it’s own interests but only for non-military items and after proper scanning of each vehicle. And for Mr. imported president, we can understand your mental frustration due to the worsening situation. It does not make any sense that Pakistan is sponsoring terrorism as recent actions of Pakistan along border areas clarify everything. They are inside your own society and enjoy more popularity among civilians than you, Mr. imported presidentRecommend

  • Baloch
    Sep 10, 2016 - 12:36PM

    Pakistan has alternative routes to Central Asia via Iran and China. Afghanistan blocking Pakistan’s transit trade to Central Asia will have little impact on Pakistan’s economy but Pakistan blocking Afghanistan’s transit trade will devastate Afghanistan’s economy. Prices of Afghan goods to India through the longer Chahbahar route make Afghan goods 5 times more expensive when they reach India as compared to going through Pakistan. Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Sep 10, 2016 - 12:39PM

    @Kulbhushan yadav:
    Finally!!!! We managed to convince an Indian….mission accomplished…. thank you Yadav sahibRecommend

  • Pakistani
    Sep 10, 2016 - 12:40PM

    @AD:
    Good luck to them…..Recommend

  • Ajeet
    Sep 10, 2016 - 12:48PM

    Everyone has a strategic depth inside PakistanRecommend

  • Oommen
    Sep 10, 2016 - 12:49PM

    Afghanistan-India trade relations are very old. Even short stories were written about it. (Kabuliwala) some “unnatural” elements are now trying to block it now.

    Pakistan will lose more if transit route is blocked by Afghanistan, (exports/gulf money are decreasing) Recommend

  • FAZ
    Sep 10, 2016 - 12:58PM

    This shows how much Ghani knows about ghe region. Pakistani trade route to central asia via Afghanistan has been virtually cut off from the 80’s. Since then Pakistan has been using Iran and China to reach central asia. Ghani just gave another reason for Pakistan to speed up CPEC!Recommend

  • Parvez
    Sep 10, 2016 - 1:09PM

    Reminds me of the old record label……HIS MASTERS VOICE.Recommend

  • Hasan Habib
    Sep 10, 2016 - 1:24PM

    Pakistan should capture WaKhan part of Agfhanistan Just 20Km nd issue will end up automaticallyRecommend

  • Abid
    Sep 10, 2016 - 1:33PM

    These remarks came after ECC Pakistan Government approved extension of Afgan refugees for futher three months till 31st March 2017. Before this announcement Afgan government was begging for extension of return of afgan refugees and sent delegations to review decision. Let again announce that 31st December 2016 is last day of afgan refugees in Pakistan and let see what will happen next. Recommend

  • pakistani bloach
    Sep 10, 2016 - 1:41PM

    Whatever happened to the bubble of chahabar port which was supposed to be a game changer.Recommend

  • Hakim Afghani
    Sep 10, 2016 - 1:45PM

    Pakistan’s trade deficit widens 27.3%
    This clearly says how great Pakistan is doing recently, no need any kind arguments and this information is right in front of your eyes on front page of tribune.com.pk !

    Good luck!Recommend

  • Harsh
    Sep 10, 2016 - 2:01PM

    Send afghans refugees back to their home country.
    No mercy for Afghan Taliban.
    PM should respond back with harsh tone (which he wont, so GHQ would interfere here)
    Ask Afghan President to shut his mouth, as we cant do what he wants.Recommend

  • Milind Dave
    Sep 10, 2016 - 2:26PM

    What a story here a non nuclear state scolding Nuclear state and thy are helplees to defend themself so it prove that Pakistan wasted money for Nuke now next in line will be some other country and with your headsdown you will followed their order no choiceRecommend

  • curious2
    Sep 10, 2016 - 2:54PM

    It’s a reasonable request and I don’t see the reason for the harsh language directed at Afghanistan. Why should Afghanistan allow Pakistan trade routes when Pakistan interferes with Afghanistan’s trade?Recommend

  • Whatacountry
    Sep 10, 2016 - 3:36PM

    This is what Modi said in his speech in Kabul when he and his entourage entered Pakistan without any travel documents to attend Nawaz Sharif’s grand daughter’s marriage. We know the response.Recommend

  • imran
    Sep 10, 2016 - 4:24PM

    Afghan president resembles modi by his facial features as well. Recommend

  • Sunny
    Sep 10, 2016 - 4:29PM

    World powers threatened Pakistan in 1998 not to conduct nuclear test but Pakistan did it.When it comes to India, Pakistan media, public.government and army do not take any pressure and dictation.Stop threatening Pakistan. Pakistan will not open wagha border for Indian trade. COME WHAT MAY!!Recommend

  • Adeel
    Sep 10, 2016 - 4:35PM

    Pakistan Should Allow Afghanistan Trade With India. Agree With Afghan President, If Pakistan Doesn’t Allow, Why Should Afghanistan? Pakistan Should Give Up on ‘Terror Policy’ And Adopt ‘Trade Policy’ In THE Neighborhood.Recommend

  • Menon
    Sep 10, 2016 - 5:05PM

    Good for you Ghani.

    It is high time Afghanistan stood up to the neighborhood terror factory. Shut the transit route down forthwithRecommend

  • Abdul Salam
    Sep 10, 2016 - 5:06PM

    Business is the only way nowadays where you can make a friend or foe , its your interest with other nations to make relationship . it will be in the flavour of People of both countries if they give way across their borders to other nations.
    Pakistan and Afghanistan are such two brothers who have never enjoyed good relations with each other. Iets both the countries make a good and safe business routes and help each to make their people safe but not using a threatening language. Recommend

  • Scootch
    Sep 10, 2016 - 5:12PM

    @imran:
    Right, he’s looking more and more unscheduled by the day !Recommend

  • PrakashG
    Sep 10, 2016 - 5:16PM

    @Sunny:
    You forget that in 2001, Pakistan dumped its entire Afghanistan policy based on a single phone call from US. Ever heard the name Richard Armitage?Recommend

  • M. Emad
    Sep 10, 2016 - 5:49PM

    Before 1947 despite frontier tribal insurgency, Afghanistan’s (only major exports) fruits/ nuts were available in eastern cities like Calcutta, Dacca and even In British-Burma.Recommend

  • G. Din
    Sep 10, 2016 - 6:19PM

    Is Pakistan going to survive the coming WWIII? It sure is going to be one of the triumvirate and together with North Korea shall have to meet the same fate as Japan and Italy respectively.Recommend

  • Malik
    Sep 10, 2016 - 6:19PM

    It is notable that Ghani has spoken what even Karzai(bigger supporter of India) did not speak.For the matter that it doesn’t care about trade with Pakistan anymore.The reason is lift of sanctions over Iran and developing relationships of Afghanistan with Uzbeks.For the common Pakistani it’s like “How can Afghans dare to warn us”,”Send the refugees back” etc etc.The major thing Pakistan fails to identify that it will be only left with CPEC which links to China that doesn’t import anything from any country in the world.Based on current situation except for Chinese investments there is nothing coming in CPEC.So most Pakistanis are in a deception that CPEC will change entire country but it’s letting it’s neighbours away day by day.However for Afghans they can wait till Chabhahar gets completed and have better relations with northern neighbours.Recommend

  • Dhah
    Sep 10, 2016 - 6:33PM

    Modi speaking
    Not Ghani
    Pashtuns will always side w Pakistan
    because of ethnic lineage and love for same religion
    Persian speaking afghans have been confused for ever about the religion ethnicity and alliances thru out history.Recommend

  • Ranjha
    Sep 10, 2016 - 6:35PM

    @Kulbhushan yadav:

    Yeah Einstein. So tell me which one of these are untrue?Recommend

  • Kulbhushan Yadav
    Sep 10, 2016 - 6:46PM

    Its funny that Pakistani still have not realized that their future depends upon Afghanistan. All this TAPI/CASA etc, would it be possible if Afghanistan says NO? Moreover, Afghanistan is one of the largest wheat importer for Pakistan. They may switch to other countries like India. This will cause hardship for Pakistanis. Finally, Ghani would not have had used a tough tone if he was not sure of the alternate route through Chabahar. All in all, Pakistan need to tread carefully now. You can’t bully Afghans. They have ruled over current territories of Pakistan and know about current Pakistanis.Recommend

  • Sanjeev Teja
    Sep 10, 2016 - 6:53PM

    NewsRecommend

  • Fak
    Sep 10, 2016 - 6:54PM

    @AD:
    No one can stop any country. This is a free world. Now don’t just say it, use your options. Pakistan is not stopping you!Recommend

  • khan
    Sep 10, 2016 - 7:10PM

    We should use Iran for trade with central asian countries. Afghanistan is unstable, so we should use iranian route for CASA-1000 and TAPI pipeline Recommend

  • Kulbhushan Yadav
    Sep 10, 2016 - 7:11PM

    @Ranjha:
    All of it :-)Recommend

  • ZAK
    Sep 10, 2016 - 7:12PM

    Trade bw Afg and India is a bilateral issue.
    It is the right of way that is issue.
    Our country is being threatened by Indian Terrorism. Ashraf Ghani I think cannot convince Modi to give Kashmiris right to self determination.

    Easy way for Afg is to use air tranport for trade with India.

    You cannot accuse , threatened and then ask for trade route.

    First of all Afg President should correct his tone.
    Also he can ask India to bear burden of all afg mohajreen currently living in Pakistan..Recommend

  • Pa Adeel
    Sep 10, 2016 - 7:23PM

    @Adeel:
    And Indians should stop using fake names to put messages on this board…Recommend

  • Fullstop
    Sep 10, 2016 - 7:27PM

    Pakistan has milked enough from US & its allies during Russian occupation of Afghanistan. Instead of jumping up and down and threatenings Afghans to be deported back to their country, for a change they should listen to their grievances. Its not that every time afghans are wrong. Give them due respect where they deserves.Recommend

  • B Shivaramakrishna
    Sep 10, 2016 - 8:04PM

    President Ghani’s comment may force Pakistan to face up to the stark reality that TAPI, CASA 1000 etc. depends on transit through Afghanistan; but then again given the depth Pakistan’s delusion of being gateway to Central Asian Republics without having a shared border, it might not happen. That India financed Chabahar project was a factor in Pres. Ghani’s warning to Pakistan, is savoured.Recommend

  • Shehryar Babar
    Sep 10, 2016 - 8:27PM

    Ashraf Ghani actually wants pakistan to allow export of indian goods to afghanistan and central asia via pakistan. This is what india have always desired and ashraf ghani is just acting as a spokesman for them.Recommend

  • Lakhkar Khan
    Sep 10, 2016 - 8:28PM

    @Kulbhushan yadav:

    You are correct. All of the above. In addition to that, Indians use Afghans for their proxy wars and dump them when attacked by the Russians. Indians are not friends of Afghans. They are just users.Recommend

  • Chacha Jee
    Sep 10, 2016 - 8:33PM

    It means Chabahar is progressing well and this has given Afghans confidence to say what they are losing now. If Afghanistan is no longer landlocked then permanent loss is to Pakistan. As Pakistan says India has no border with Afghanistan, Chabahar is going to be India’s border to Afghanistan.Recommend

  • Shakti
    Sep 10, 2016 - 8:43PM

    Pakistan is mean.Recommend

  • Waqar
    Sep 10, 2016 - 8:48PM

    Pakistan should deport all Afghans immediately.

    Trade with Afghanistan should be shut, let them fester in their own juices.Recommend

  • Khwaja
    Sep 10, 2016 - 8:49PM

    @Kulbhushan yadav:
    Oye laloo…you can have all of them, your kind of people anyways. Besides, they ruled you for so long why dont you try ruling them now. Dont mind Pakistanis, tbey will say whatever….you on the other hand are a true gem,, always speak such words of love and affection …just like rest of you. A true inspiration for mankind…..stop nodding and go suck up to your new toy boys. Recommend

  • Sidster
    Sep 10, 2016 - 9:14PM

    @abood: FYI; Nawaz league did not close down Border. Army had to step up to implement NAP. Nawaz league were busy stealing from treasury of Pakistan that Army had to force Nawaz Sharif. Recommend

  • Popal
    Sep 10, 2016 - 9:37PM

    Pakistan a terrorist sponsored state should know that afghanistan is no longer their controlled state via taliban,
    Durand issue is the next episode coming up soon .Recommend

  • Razia
    Sep 10, 2016 - 11:02PM

    Can someone teach this flamboyant yahoo diplomatic etiquettes? Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Sep 10, 2016 - 11:07PM

    I would only remind Pakistan that all its rivers flow either from India or Afghanistan. Week Congress government is not in power in India, but Modi is in power. Indus Water Treaty may have survived wars earlier, but this is not a guarantee for the future too. Even those demanding independence in Indian Kashmir want to abrogate IWT. If India and Afghanistan coordinate, what will happen to Pakistan that is almost totally an agrarian economy with little or no manufacturing industries? Recommend

  • Abdul jabbar
    Sep 10, 2016 - 11:14PM

    Salam let close the debate as everyone and especially history lover know better that Afghanis never ever accepted PAKISTAN as a country or nation . But we Pakistanis since 1947 love Afghanis as our Muslim brothers. We from the very day help Afghanis in every walk of life even when they invaded by U S S R & U S A it was only Pakistanis who stand side by side their Muslim brothers. But Afghanis are very unthankful nation so it is the time to say them GOOD BYE with all their 3.5 millions refugees and their love one’sRecommend

  • Avtar
    Sep 10, 2016 - 11:24PM

    Now CPEC is a strategic asset for Pakistan. Pakistan sell its goods to these countries via CPEC. And it will have more friends in the neighbourhood – Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikstan? So goes the strategic asset narrative of the establishment.Recommend

  • Zealot
    Sep 10, 2016 - 11:32PM

    Mr Ghani.go a head.close the transit border.pakistan has alternate and short route via China……Recommend

  • Rizwan Bashir
    Sep 10, 2016 - 11:46PM

    I like Afghanistani rice and food.Recommend

  • Rizwan Bashir
    Sep 10, 2016 - 11:48PM

    Rice plaou and Afghanistani tikka are nice.Recommend

  • sterry
    Sep 11, 2016 - 12:07AM

    @Chacha Jee: Pakistanis want Afghanistan to have a closed border but open with India via Chabahr so Afghan refugees can go there to India. Now that there is Chabahar we don’t feel pressured about opening the border. Most Pakistanis want Afghan closed at all costs so another APS school massacre co ordinated from Afghanistan and paid for by India does not take place.Recommend

  • Kulbhushan Yadav
    Sep 11, 2016 - 12:23AM

    Pakistanis do not understand much of the ground situation. They are sitting in Karachi and Lahore and commenting to close the borders. They should know there is a large Pakhtoon population across both borders who have been moving freely. They have relatives and families across borders. You can close it for 10-15 days but not longer than that because then Pakistan’s own Pakhtoon population would revolt. For Pakhtoons, loyalty to tribe and family is more important than nationhood. Pakistan should pay attention to what Ghani is saying otherwise kiss goodbye to all those trade with central Asia. Moreover Pakistan,if you guys were wise enough, you would have had mend relations with India instead of poking it. Even with CPEC, you would just be able to get some toll from Chinese trucks. You won’t be able to sell anything to China except some Rice and Cotton, that too if Thailand/India/Bangladesh don’t do good. Pakistan could have had chance to access the Indian market where it could sell stuff, but seems Pakistanis are too imbecile to recognize the opportunities. Recommend

  • Aamir
    Sep 11, 2016 - 12:29AM

    @Fahre Afghan:
    FDI seriously??? 46 Billion Chines, 2 Billion Russian, 4 Billion Saudis, 3 Billion Turks and then small FDI’s too… Get your facts straight dear deer.Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Sep 11, 2016 - 2:08AM

    @Aamir:
    Those billions of dollars you are talking about, are they FDI’s or loans?Recommend

  • Jat
    Sep 11, 2016 - 4:42AM

    @Kulbhushan Yadav:
    Yes. The only person who understands the ground situation is MR Yadav because he knows everything even the intelligence does not know. I read the first sentence and lost interest. Please stop googling and come up with genuine comments that makes sense…Recommend

  • Kulbhushan yadav
    Sep 11, 2016 - 4:42AM

    @Aamir:
    You need to know the difference between soft loan and FDI.Recommend

  • Humza
    Sep 11, 2016 - 6:04AM

    @Kulbhushan Yadav: Dont tell Pashtuns in Pakistan what they do or dont think. We have family who has witnessed the deterioration of KPK with the influx of Afghan (including Farsiwan, Hazara and others) refugees when the world community sat back and let Pakistan deal with the blow back of the Soviet invasion and the mess thereafter. Speak to Pashtuns from settled areas in KPK and FATA both if you want to understand where loyalty lies before spouting nonsense. If you are not worried about CPEC, then just leave it be and and focus on improving Chabahar so you can trade directly with Afghanistan to import vegetables and fruit from there. Subsidize the transport costs for Afghanistan or fly in the Afghan goods. You have no idea of geography because it is not a great deal to fit an alternate route to Central Asia via Western China. Afghanistan is then completely out of the loop for Pakistan. It`s going to take a long time before stability returns to Afghanistan so it is pointless for Pakistan to make any long term plans based on traffic through that land anyways.Recommend

  • Sandip
    Sep 11, 2016 - 5:41PM

    @Malik Saab: Pakistan has a pretty large area called KPK that is the land of the Pushtoons, not the punjabis. If the Pushtoons go to Afghanistan, then so will KPK. Be prepared for that as well.Recommend

  • Anuj
    Sep 11, 2016 - 9:09PM

    Call their bluff! Afghanistan needs to stop being India’s little b** and realize that Pakistan will not allow these things to please the Indians who are murdering Kashmiris everyday.

    Pakistan Zindabad!Recommend

  • Manzoor Ahmad
    Sep 11, 2016 - 9:36PM

    What Pakistan is doing is illegal and immoral. There is no example of any other country (except maybe Israel) which does not allow its landlocked neighbours access to other countries for trade. President Ghani was a great friend of Pakistan but our shortsightedness has turned him against us. Our policies are not only resulting in increase in poverty and terrorism in Afghanistan but also in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Ahmed Ali khan
    Sep 12, 2016 - 2:39AM

    @curious2: According to afghan trade agreement, Afghanistan can excess India via Vagah border to take their goods to India but it cannot bring goods back from India via Pakistan. Now ashraf ghani wants to bring goods from India as well which is non compliance of the agreement.Recommend

  • KarnalSherKhanForever
    Sep 12, 2016 - 2:54AM

    @Sandip:

    I am a Pukhtun from Pukhtunkhwa and I say keep on dreaming. Pukhtunkhwa is Pakistan and will remain that way. Pukhtunkhwa, NWFP back in days, was betrayed by India in 1947 and abandoned by Afghanistan during Anglo-Afghan war and we are NOT up for anyone to be claimed.

    Lock Afghan and India borders to keep Pakistan safe….Recommend

  • RK
    Sep 12, 2016 - 8:55AM

    In the modern world everybody looks for an open society, If we shut ourselves in our well then we only are the losers. The world shall move on.Recommend

  • Jamal-ud-Din
    Sep 12, 2016 - 10:06AM

    Ashraf Ghani……. you want to trade with India, try some other route. Recommend

  • Zarb e Hanood
    Sep 12, 2016 - 10:16AM

    Kudos to PM Modi for financing Chabahar Port expansion to insulate Afghanistan from a Pakistani trade embargo and Bravo to President Ghani for reminding Pakistan of its limited options. India must now finance a pipeline from Iran border into Afghanistan to meet minimum Afghan demand for diesel and petrol bolstering Afghan ability to thumb their noses at Pakistan.Recommend

  • Bilal shahzad khan
    Sep 12, 2016 - 12:01PM

    This reason of rotting fruits by Afghanistan is nothing but just feeble excuses. 749km through roads took almost 2-3 days. FMCGs all around the world is carried through Airways. The neighbor was oblivious of such trade facts before CPEC? Needy people of the past are now trying to perturb the economy of Pakistan.Recommend

  • kamal
    Sep 13, 2016 - 12:26PM

    Afghanistan cannot be allowed to get away with decades of treachery. The first salvo from us is to keep their mouth shut on matters relating to India or we will push the remaining 2m Afghan refugees back overnight and you will have an immediate civil war. No we are not going to open Wagah. Do whatever you want.Recommend

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