The All Pakistan Combined Truck and Trailers Welfare Association, the representative body of Nato goods transporters in the country, has directed its members and drivers to stop hauling Nato cargo for the time being.
The association’s president, Naseem Shinwari, told The Express Tribune that the decision was taken in view of the possible threats to their vehicles and the lives of their drivers because of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s sit-in against the US-led drone strikes. “We will wait for the government’s decision,” he said, adding that they had stopped loading their vehicles at the port.
As many as 200 trucks stand at the Karachi Port Trust’s premises and Keamari while the rest of the trucks and trailers have been stopped at the bus-stands. According to Shinwari, over 300 trucks, carrying Nato goods, leave for Afghanistan from Karachi, via Chaman and Torkham borders, everyday. “We have asked our drivers to return their vehicles to Karachi and those who are outside the borders should stay there to avoid any untoward incidents.”
Shinwari lamented that their business was first affected by the 12-day-long strike and now the sit-in was adding to their losses. “Our drivers are fed-up and are unwilling to carry cargo of the Afghan transit trade because of the security risks,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 24th, 2013.