Afghan trade vehicles remain stranded in Karachi
KABUL (PAN): Pakistan is refusing to allow thousands of Afghanistan-bound containers loaded with commercial goods to leave the port city of Karachi, the capital of Sindh province, under the new transit trade agreement between the two countries, an official said on Thursday.
"If urgent steps in this regard are not taken, some goods may lose their value," Deputy Commerce and Industry Minister Ghulam Mohammad Yalafi told a press conference in Kabul.
The delay in implementing the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) had left 3,000 Afghan trucks stranded in Karachi since May 22 of this year.
Though the historic pact went into effect on Tuesday when Afghanistan sent a two-truck convoy carrying trade goods on its way to India for the first time under the new agreement, Pakistan is still not allowing trucks to carry commercial goods into the landlocked country.
Yalfai said Pakistan failed to give any reason for the restriction. Though Pakistan earlier announced that the trade accord had gone into effect, the country was not prepared to implement it, he said.
The deputy commerce minister said the 3,000 trucks carried merchandise for factories, electronic equipment and food items, which he feared could turn rotten if not transported immediately.
The commerce ministry planned to send a delegation to Pakistan next week to discuss the issue with relevant officials, he said.
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