ISLAMABAD: The federal government has given permission for resuming Afghan Transit Trade (ATT) activities at Gwadar Port amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The port was opened for transit trade in the beginning of October 2019 and the first ship arrived on October 8. No demurrage charges and three-month storage facility are some of the salient points of the port.
According to a notification of the Ministry of Commerce, the bulk cargo arriving at the Gwadar Port would be sent to Afghanistan in line with the international standards.
“The trucks leaving the Gwadar Port for Afghanistan under the ATT Agreement, would be completely sealed,” the notification read. “The trucks would be allowed to ferry wheat, sugar and manure as well as have a tracking system installed in them.”
The permission has been granted on the requests of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other institutions concerned.
It is expected that through the ATT, job opportunities would emerge for the local community of Gwadar.
In January this year, Gwadar Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Mir Naveed Kalmati had urged the federal government to divert the ATT cargo handling to Gwadar Port on a permanent basis.
He said, “This development will provide jobs to the youth and create economic activity, which in turn would counter insurgency in Balochistan.”
He lamented not diverting all cargo meant for allied forces in Afghanistan to Gwadar from day one, saying that this step would have helped make the pot operational.