‘Dand Patan road shortest entry point to Pakistan’
GARDEZ (Pajhwok): Traders and economics experts in southeastern Paktia province say the distance to bring in Afghanistan commercial goods from Pakistan’s Karachi seaport will be shortened by hundreds of kilometers if the Gardez-Dand Patan road is transformed into a transit route.
The 75-kilometre road connects Gardez, the capital city of Paktia, with Parachinar area in Pakistan’s semiautonomous tribal region of Kurram agency in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Abdul Nasir Elamyar, the chamber of commerce head for southeastern zone, said the Gardez-Dand Patan road had a great value in boosting Afghanistan’s economy and it would hugely facilitate trade activities if transformed into a transit route.
He said the Dand Patan road was many kilometers shorter to Karachi seaport than the Torkham road in eastern Nangarhar province.
He said they had repeatedly held talks with government officials on upgrading the road into a transit route, but failed to elicit a positive response.
Paktia commerce and industry director, Rashad Bakhtari, said recognising the Dand Patan road as a transit route would help reduce transportation costs and assist the country’s economic development.
He said he had sent many letters to the Ministry of Finance regarding upgrading the road, but there had been no practical response. However, he hoped to be able to draw out a positive response in this regard from the unity government in Kabul.
A trader in Paktia, Abdul Rahim Gardezi, said the Gardez-Dand Patan road was shorter and plain as compared to other alternatives.
He said they had proposed transforming the road into a transit route to several departments and officials had also promised to do so, but the promises remained unmet.
The trader said President Ghani and his new government should realise the importance of the road and should take steps toward transforming it into a transit route.
President Ghani had promised with Paktia residents during his election campaign that he would change the Gardez-Dand Patan road into a transit one, but he could not do so since his inauguration six months ago.
The road is currently being rehabilitated, a project to be completed in one year time.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.