Above 300 trucks with export items stranded at Torkham
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) has warned that traders would close the Torkham border crossing if Pakistan did not issue them road passes for more than 300 trucks loaded with export items which have been stranded at the dry port for the last 10 days.
At a gathering in the ACCI office to mark National Transport Day, ACCI deputy head Khan Jan Alokozai said more than 300 trucks loaded with export items including fruits had been stranded in Torkham dry port over the past 10 days due to non issuance of road passes by the Pakistani Embassy in Kabul.
The exporters of fresh fruits complained Pakistan had stopped issuing road passes at a time when season of fruit harvests had reached the peak in Afghanistan.
Deputy head of truck drivers union, Malak Mohammad Nazar Otmanzai, said the issue had angered Afghan and warned if the government did not pay attention to the issue, they would block the dry port.
The Pakistani embassy in Kabul in a statement said the process of issuance of road passes to Afghan traders had temporarily been discontinued because of unavailability of officials of the commercial section whose visa request was pending till date with the Afghan Embassy in Islamabad since August 7, 2015.
“In this situation, Pakistan’s Embassy in Kabul is constrained to close the commercial section which is authorised to issue road passes to our Afghan businesses and transporters,” the statement added.
The embassy would immediately issue the road passes to the traders and transporters as the commercial section employees of the embassy resume their works, the statement said.
“Furthermore, the Embassy reiterates that it has always facilitated and welcomed Afghan business community and transporters as well as the Afghan brothers keeping in view our traditions and brotherly relations and will continue to do so,” the statement added.
The ACCI asked the Afghan Foreign Ministry officials to resolve the issue with the Pakistani Embassy.
The trader body said the government of Pakistan should issue the road passes in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) inked on June 12, 2011.
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