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APTTA to take effect on June 12: Ahadi

APTTA to take effect on June 12: Ahadi

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On
May 31, 2011 - 19:48

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The Afghanistaninfo-icon-Pakistaninfo-icon Transit Trade Agreement (APTTAinfo-icon) will take effect from June 12, the commerce and industry minister announced on Tuesday.

The landmark agreement, granting Afghanistan important trade concessions, was signed in Kabul on October 28, 2010 between Pakistani Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim and his Afghan counterpart, Anwarul Haq Ahadi.
 
The signing marked a historic occasion for the neighbours, Fahim had said, hoping the pact would bring Kabul and Islamabad closer.
 
The then US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, a number of foreign ambassadors, Afghan parliamentarians and senior officials were present at the ceremony.
 
The ATTPA replaces a 1965 agreement, which Afghanistan says does not reflect changes on the ground. Under that agreement, Afghans would export goods only via Pakistan's port city of Karachi.
 
Stepped-up efforts by the Afghan government at renewing the agreement led to the signing of a memorandum of understanding in Islamabad in 2010.  
 
"The reason behind non-implementation of APTTA is that Pakistani officials want guarantees for prices of transit items, an issue that has now been resolved," Ahadi told a meeting of Afghan and Pakistani officials in Kabul on Tuesday.
 
He said another reason was that Pakistan sought guarantees for Afghan trucks entering that country. Ahadi added the issue had not been resolved as yet.
 
"Maybe Pakistan is worried about the smuggling of goods in theses vehicles. The matter is of concern to us as well, and we will try to solve the problem," he said.
 
Ahadi hoped the issue would be resolved at the next joint meeting on the agreement, scheduled for June 12. High ranking officials from commerce ministries of the two countries are expected to participate in the meeting.
 
frm/ma/mud

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