Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Thursday said that Pakistan was considering opening more crossing points apart from Chaman and Torkhum to facilitate Afghan transit trade.
He was addressing a three-day conference on “Afghanistan Reconnected: Regional Advocacy and Outreach Mission to Pakistan” organised by East West Institute (IEW).
Aziz said that the Asian Development Bank had promised a $100 million loan to upgrade Afghan transit trade facilities at Chaman, Torkham and Wagah crossings.
“We are also pursuing business-friendly visa policy for Afghanistan. Connecting Central Asia to Pakistan through Afghanistan will be a win-win situation for all,” he said and added that a tripartite transit trade agreement between Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan was under consideration.
He mentioned CASA 1000 and TAPI gas pipeline projects as important steps forward in regional cooperation. “Regional economic cooperation is increasingly becoming an effective tool for promoting economic growth and political stability in today’s highly interconnected world.
“Fostering intra-regional trade will not only create opportunities for economic growth but also for achieving wider development objectives. Europe’s economic integration presents success story to be followed by other regional blocs,” said the advisor.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 20th, 2015.