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

Afghan president says if deadlock continues, Afghanistan will not provide equal transit access to Pakistani trucks

April 30, 2015
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. PHOTO: REUTERS

Demanding “sovereign equality”, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said Pakistan must allow his country direct access to India through Wagah border in Lahore.

At present, Pakistan allows Afghan trucks carrying goods meant for India only up to its last checkpoint at Wagah and not to the Indian checkpoint at Attari which is just less than a kilometer away.

Ghani, in an exclusive interview to Indian newspaper The Hindu, warned that if the deadlock continues, Afghanistan will not provide equal transit access to Central Asia for Pakistani trucks.

Read: Indian, Afghan leaders pledge to fight militants, build trade

The Afghan president, who is in India on his first state visit, said Pakistan must accept the “national treatment” clause agreed to in the Afghanistan Pakistan Transit and Trade Agreement (APTTA), signed in 2011, which gives each country equal access up to the national boundaries of both.

On Tuesday, Ghani met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and called for regional cooperation to defeat violent extremist groups.

Islamic State

The Afghan president said the Islamic State has challenged countries from “India to Russia” and that the regional countries must united to end the menace.

Ghani said the IS threat was different from that posed by groups such as the Taliban, which wanted to “overthrow the state”.

“Now the prize is not the state, it is destruction. Our territory is being made the battleground. Our people are being killed brutally to show a spectacle. We all need to mobilise as a region,” he said.

He, however, denied downplaying threat from groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, saying the “drivers have changed”.


Khan Roedad | 7 years ago | Reply Afghan President call for the cooperative effort of all regional countries to eliminate terrorism from Afghanistan is highly appreciative. He openly admitted use of Afghanistan’s land to fight war for India and Russia indicating that its land would not be used for terrorist activities against neighboring countries. Pak – Afghan Transit Trade route can only be sued by India if Pak – India bilateral issues are resolved and a common beneficial environment is generated based on mutual trust development of Chabahar deep water port is again an Indian endeavor to underplay Pakistan and undermine the importance of Gawadar.
waseem | 7 years ago | Reply @Arun: Did India ever provide land access to Nepal for Pakistan? Or even the former east pakistan? Indian exect others to be generous but are worse than beggers when start demanding
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