Pakistan clears 164 food-laden Afghan vehiclesBy Abdul Qadeer Siddiqui Jan 28, 2012 - 15:37
KABUL (PAN): The Pakistani government has allowed 164 of the 700 Afghan traders’ vehicles to enter the landlocked country, a businessman said on Saturday.
“We are trying to get released the rest of Afghanistan-bound vehicles stranded in Pakistan,” the Ministry of Finance spokesman Wahidullah Ghazikhel told Pajhwok Afghan News.
The ministry says Pakistan has assured the clearance of hundreds of food containers in 10 days to end a nearly two-month stoppage that could caused a temporary food shortage in the country.
Up to 700 food containers destined for Afghanistan have been stopped at various places in the neighbouring country over the past two months, with the Pakistani authorities suspecting the supplies were carried for NATO troops under the cover of commercial imports.
Some weeks ago, Islamabad closed a key supply line for international troops based in Afghanistan after a deadly cross-border attack by NATO-led troops in the Mohmand tribal region, killing 24 Pakistani troops.
Earlier this month, Pakistan's Finance Minister Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh had told his Afghan counterpart, Dr. Mohammad Omar Zakhilwal, at the eighth session of the Joint Economic Commission (JEC) in Islamabad that a solution to the stranded vehicles’ problem would be found soon.
During the session held in Islamabad, Afghan officials complained about the non-implementation of some clauses of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA).