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    Pakistan stops 500 Afghanistan-bound trade vehicles

    KABUL (PAN): Authorities in Pakistan have stopped 500 Afghanistan-bound vehicles loaded with transit trade goods on the suspicion of being supplied for NATO forces, an official said on Saturday.

    On November 27, Islamabad closed a key supply line for Afghanistan-based international troops and ordered the US to vacate the Shamsi airbase in southwestern Balochistan province after a deadly cross border attack by NATO forces in Mohmand tribal region.

    Deputy head of Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) Khan Jan Alokozi claimed Pakistan had stopped vehicles carrying freezers, eggs and meat at different locations from Karachi to Peshawar since Thursday.

    "The vehicles are not allowed to move, while security forces at Torkham port had sent back 20 other vehicles, despite the clearance of relevant papers," he said.

    Alokozai said, "When our traders show Pakistani authorities documents, they ask why you don’t buy these items from Pakistan?"

    The ACCI official said Afghan traders bought trade goods from other countries at lower prices as compared to Pakistan. He warned if the problem was not solved, people in Afghanistan could face hike in prices and shortage of gas and food items.

    The Ministry of Commerce and Industry spokesman, Wahidullah Ghazikhel, said they had contacted authorities in Pakistan, but there has been no response so far.

    He said Pakistan was seeking guarantee that the goods would not be supplied to NATO forces and that efforts were being made to resolve the matter.