TIR Convention: Accord on setting up committee hailed
PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): The Afghanistan-Pakistan agreement on forming a committee for discussing issues of visa, road permits and guarantees to benefit from the International Road Transport (TIR) Convention has been hailed as a welcome move.
In an editorial in its Sunday’s edition, The Express Tribune wrote the multilateral treaty provided for an international customs transit system to move goods in sealed vehicles from one country to another, without requiring extensive border checks.
The daily noted the trade potential between Pakistan and Afghanistan was much bigger than currently estimated, but non-tariff barriers, smuggling and other hurdles on both sides continued to impede growth in bilateral trade.
One disturbing aspect of the transit trade had been a major difference in value reporting by the two nations, it added. If the convention is successfully introduced, Pakistani trucks carrying export goods to Central Asian markets could cross the Afghan border without hindrance.
Similarly, the trucks carrying goods from Central Asian countries could also cross over to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. On their return journey, the vehicles could then carry Indian goods for Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asian markets.
“However, for this to happen, the enormous trust deficit that exists between India and Pakistan on the one hand and Pakistan and Afghanistan on the other, would first need to be removed,” the editorial read.
The newspaper urged Pakistan to allow India the overland transit trade route facility to reach Afghanistan and beyond in return for a political economic quid pro quo from New Delhi.
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