Afghan traders threaten to block Torkham border access

Published: July 11, 2011
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Failure of Pak-Afghan transit agreement causes anger. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Failure of Pak-Afghan transit agreement causes anger. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

Afghan traders on Saturday threatened dire action if glitches in the new transit trade agreement were not resolved. The traders said that if the issues were not sorted out soon, the Torkham border crossing “was to be closed to all Pakistani trade transport.”

Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industries Deputy Chairman, Khan Jan Alkozai, said that problems in the Transit Trade Agreement are not only affecting Afghan traders but also damaging the entire national economy. He added that 5,000 containers belonging to Afghan traders remain stranded in Pakistan and have not been cleared by Pakistani authorities.

“What is important is the agreement, and that has already been signed. Problems in the implementation process are natural,” the Afghan Ambassador Umar Daudzai told The Express Tribune. “Both countries are now legally bound to implement the agreement,” he said, adding that the Afghan consulate in Peshawar is working hard to resolve all issues.

An Afghan diplomat however told The Express Tribune that travel documents for Afghan truck drivers and their crew remain problematic as many Afghan drivers still do not have the required travel papers.

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani had stated in his joint press conference with President Karzai on June 12 that the agreement had been implemented. Under the agreement Afghan trucks may travel across Pakistan to India through the Wagah border. Afghan trucks may directly utilise the ports of Karachi and Gwadar with export goods, while Pakistani trucks may cross into Central Asian states through the Heratan border.

Afghan traders on the other hand allege that Pakistan is taking excess political mileage out of the agreement.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Amjad
    Jul 11, 2011 - 9:01AM

    Who cares what the Afghan traders say? It’s time to seal the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan so that criminals and refugees from Afghanistan are not allowed to pass into Pakistan. Enough is enough.

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  • Arijit Sharma
    Jul 11, 2011 - 10:13AM

    What happened to Islamic brotherhood ?

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  • ba ha
    Jul 11, 2011 - 12:28PM

    Lets make a new rail link for afghan transit trade. Karachi/Gawadar to DG kahan along Sind Baluchistan border (thru Chinni) on to Torkham to Kabul to Europe . reduce your cost and help all concerned except your buddy america

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  • Bhola
    Jul 11, 2011 - 12:30PM

    Afghans can go through India – which seems to be their their closest ally these days…. while we are at it, all 5 Million afghan refugees should be repatriated to India as well.. it will solve all Pakistan’s problems once and for all and fix India too..:-)

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  • anil
    Jul 11, 2011 - 12:31PM

    poor afghan traders.Don’t look at Indian imports only,look to ur western arabian market.It is good for ur future .India which is facing trade imbalance can’t only import afghan goods for a long time,so better tie with arabian traders.

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  • Someone
    Jul 11, 2011 - 12:50PM

    Doesn’t matter if Amjad you seal the border .. that border soon to be taken out.
    Looks like Pakistan is in the process of Balkanization and therefore it will be all open borders belonging to Afghanistan.

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  • Aneeq Ahmed
    Jul 11, 2011 - 2:43PM

    we take care almost 4 to 5 million afghan refugees since 1979 without any greed just upon islamic brotherhood and in return they blocking our trade routes, In my view Afganis are only friends of Dollar and Bollywood.
    Long live PakistanRecommend

  • Armaan
    Jul 11, 2011 - 8:50PM

    @Aneeq. Have you heard of the joke that corruption was invented in Pakistan and then perfected in Nigeria. Afghan traders are tired of greasing the palms of corrupt Pakistani bureaucrats and are taking matters into their own hands. Pakistani authorities have enriched themselves from the aid that Afghan refugees settled in Pakistan are supposed to be receiving from the UN and other charity organizations. You forget that Afghans working in Pakistan and the remittances they receive from family and relatives living in the west contribute to the Pakistani economy tremendously. Afghans have learned to love the $ by living in Pakistan for all those years and have learned the corrupt ways of Pakistan.

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  • Aneeq Ahmed
    Jul 12, 2011 - 11:37PM

    Facts are remain same wether someone like or dislike, Afghanis love dollars for that they brought gift of Heroin for Pakistani people. Afganis are involved in car snatching , bank robbery, bomb blast etc.
    Now a days they behaving like a strangers to us which is obvious because dollar is behind and bollywood making them blind on the cost of Pakistan.
    Long live PakistanRecommend

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