Traders affected by goods stranded in Pakistan
ISLAMABAD (PAN): Thousands of shipping containers have been delayed in Karachi for the last four months, causing distress to Afghan traders, the traders said on Saturday.
Their goods – worth millions of US dollars – have been stranded in Karachi harbor, even after the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement went into effect last month, the deputy head of a traders’ union, Hajji Jamaluddin, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Between 5,000 and 8,000 containers are languishing in the city, but there is no train to transfer them to Afghanistan, he said.
“If such a bad situation continues, the traders doing business through Pakistan will face massive failure and would lose hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he said.
“All facilities are available for the businessmen who have trade relations with India or the countries of central Asia, but there are only problems in doing business with Afghanistan,” he said.
Another Pakistani trader, Daud Khan, said although the transit agreement was signed between the two countries, there are still problems to be solved.
It is not only the responsibility of Pakistan to solve the traders’ problems, but it is also the duty of Afghan government to cooperate, he said.
The problems could not be solved because no one had conferred with the traders themselves when the relative ministries of the two countries gathered to discuss the issues, he said.
According to reports, some Pakistani officials take bribes from traders, but they have established a commission to prevent such acts, said an official of the Pakistani commerce ministry, on condition of anonymity.
After signing the contract, the process of solving traders’ problems was started, said an Attaché of Afghanistan’s embassy in Islamabad, Ajir Khan Zaheer.
In accordance with the transit agreement, some of the 9,000 stranded containers in Karachi had been transferred to Afghanistan.
The agreement was signed recently, and all the problems could not be solved at once, he said. They would talk with Pakistani officials to solve the rest of the problems, he said.
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