7 Afghan goods containers missing in PakistanBy Abdul Qadir Siddiqui Apr 7, 2012 - 19:13
KABUL (PAN): Seven Afghanistan-bound containers carrying commercial goods of traders have been missing over the past few weeks in Pakistan, resulting in a 60 percent cut in imports through the neighbouring country, a trader representative said on Saturday.
The 45-day-old issue had been discussed with the Pakistani authorities time and again, a senior member of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI), Khan Jan Alokozai, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
A total of 12 containers had gone missing in different areas of Pakistan, but later five of them were found after traders complained to police. “The remaining seven containers carrying oil, sugar, garments and other items are yet to be found,” he said.
Pakistani police have claimed detaining some suspects in connection with the missing containers. He put at $150,000 (7,503,000 afghanis) the average value of goods in each vehicle.
Alokozai accused Pakistani drivers and transport companies of unloading containers and selling the goods. He said the disappearance resulted from the absence of security guarantees from the transport firms concerned. "When we ask these companies about the missing goods, they say they have offered no guarantees."
Afghan trucks shipped trade goods to Peshawar from the port city of Karachi and it was the responsibility of the Pakistani government to ensure their security, he remarked. If such incidents continued to take place, trade relations between the two countries could be hurt, he warned.
Afghan traders slashed imports through Pakistan by 60 percent after the incident was reported, he said, asking both Pakistani and Afghan governments to take urgent measures for addressing traders’ concerns.
Commerce ministry spokesman Wahidullah Ghazikhil confirmed some traders had approached them to take up the issue with Pakistani authorities. Some containers were found after they approached Pakistani officials, he concluded.