Pakistan starts releasing stranded Afghan containers
KABUL (PAN): Nearly 10,000 containers carrying commercial goods of Afghan traders are expected to reach Afghanistan within the next two weeks after Pakistan on Tuesday allowed their release, an official said.
For the past seven months, the 10,000 containers, 40 percent carrying food items, have remained stranded in Karachi due to a lack of trucks.
The release came a week after the Pakistani government allowed Afghan traders to hire their own vehicles to carry the goods, after a semi-government transport company could not provide enough vehicles.
The National Logistic Cell was barred from using hired trucks to transport Afghanistan-bound containers in order to check possible smuggling, a move also welcomed by Afghan traders.
The commerce and industry minister, Anwarul Haq Ahadi, told reporters in Kabul that an Afghan delegation had returned from Pakistan after a seven-day trip.
The delegation had talks with Pakistani officials on the issue of the stranded trucks.
The Pakistani government assured the Afghan delegates that 400 containers would be allowed to travel from Karachi to Afghanistan on a daily basis, Ahadi said.
"If Pakistani remains obliged to keep its promise, we expect all the stranded trucks to reach Afghanistan in the next two weeks," the minister said.
He said Pakistan had proposed the transfer of Afghan trade goods from Karachi to Peshawar through a cargo train. Ahadi said the first 400 containers will reach Afghanistan by Wednesday.
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