Home / Afghanistan / Ambassador Mashal Favors Uninterrupted Trade with Pakistan
Ambassador Mashal wants trade with Pakistan

Ambassador Mashal Favors Uninterrupted Trade with Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – Afghan Ambassador in Islamabad Atif Mashal said that political issues should not have any impact on economic issues as his country favours smooth trade relations with Pakistan.
Ambassador Mashal’s comments came as Pakistan is set to open another key route for cross-border trade and to resume Afghan imports and exports via three crossing points from Monday.
Pakistan had closed the Ghulam Khan border in North Waziristan in June, 2014 after the military launched a major operation against the Pakistani and foreign militants in the area. A trial run of Ghulam Khan crossing was conducted in March, 2018 with symbolic movement of few trucks.
Pakistan had stopped bilateral trade with Afghanistan in March after it closed borders with Afghanistan and Iran to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
In May, Pakistan had opened its two border terminals at Torkham and Chaman for transit trade and exports to Afghanistan. But imports were not allowed in view of the COVID-19.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office said late Saturday it has been decided that with effect from Monday, the third border terminal at Ghulam Khan will be opened for bilateral trade and to allow transit trade and import from Afghanistan through Torkham and Chaman border terminals as well.
A Pakistan Foreign Office statement said this arrangement on trade will be in operation 6 days a week and Saturdays will be reserved for pedestrian movement on these border crossing terminals. These steps are being taken after implementing all necessary protocols related to COVID-19 pandemic.
The opening of Ghulam Khan border crossing terminal and allowing imports from Afghanistan reflects Pakistan’s resolve to help Afghanistan and facilitate its trade, the statement said, adding Pakistan is a major trading partner of Afghanistan and largest market for Afghan exports.
Pakistan has also opened Gwadar Port for Afghanistan’s export and import, which has further strengthened trade linkages between the two countries.
Ambassador Mashal said Ghulam Khan Crossing will be opened for import-export on Monday and Afghanistan is making serious efforts so the route is also used for transit trade, which is an important issue for Afghanistan.
“A lot of work has been done and we will soon reach a conclusion,” Mashal told Daily Times.
He said there could be ups and downs in bilateral relations but such a situation should not have any impact on bilateral trade.
Meanwhile, Adviser to Prime Minister of Pakistan for Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood says Pakistan will allow Afghan imports at all three major crossing points from Monday.
Dawood informed Ambassador Mashal about the decision in a meeting in Islamabad. He said that in addition to Pakistan’s decision to open Torkham & Chaman for transit trade 6 days/week, Ghulam Khan is being opened as the 3rd major trading route to immediately clear the backlog.
Ambassador Mashal informed that this is peak time for Afghan exports of fruits and vegetables which are ready for export. He extended an invitation to the Pakistani adviser to visit Kabul with a trade delegation in July or August for talks on bilateral trade and transit issues.
Dawood tweeted on Saturday that both sides also discussed resuming negotiations on the Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement and need for greater safeguards to curb illegal imports from Afghanistan.
He assured the Afghan envoy of Pakistan’s desire of early resolution of all issues regarding bilateral trade.
(Sahar News)

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