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Keep border crossing open round the clock, govt asked

Keep border crossing open round the clock, govt asked

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Apr 03, 2019 - 14:59

KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Businessmen in southern Kandahar province want the Spin Boldak border crossing to remain open 24 hours for trade and commerce activities.

They stressed the need for resolving the issues being encountered by businesspeople on both sides of the Durand Lineinfo-icon, which Afghanistaninfo-icon does not recognise as a formal border.

Eng. Abdul Baqi Beena, deputy head of the Kandahar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), told Pajhwok Afghan News that businessmen in the south wanted the Spin Boldak crossing to remain open.

For its part, Pakistaninfo-icon has announced keeping the Torkham border crossing open round the clock.

Businessmen had shared their views with officials at Pakistani consulate general in Kandahar City as well.

Afghanistan’s vegetables, which were in demand in the neighbouring country, would not get rotten if the crossing remained open round the clock, he argued.

Under the Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Agreement (APTA), he added, five percent goods of Afghan businessmen should go through checks at the Karachi Port.

But Pakistani authorities, he alleged, checked all goods. Because of the stringent checks, the business leader complained, reloading the items consumed a lot of time.

When ships landed at the Pakistani port, goods belonging to Afghan traders are unloaded -- an issue in itself.

Haji Abdullah, head of the Dry Fruits Association, said Pakistani truckers smuggled Afghan goods in their vehicles and brought a bad name to Afghan businessmen.

He said all goods exported from Afghanistan to Pakistan and India were checked by the Pakistani authorities in Chaman. When exports pass through the Kogak area of Chaman, Pakistani officials loaded trucks with smuggled items.

Haji Nani, head of the Fresh Fruits Union, demanded exemption of duty on items such as banana, kinnow, pomegranate, grapes and other fresh fruits traded between the two countries.

Afghan Consul General Dost Mohammad Wazir told Pajhwok Afghan News that round the clock operations at Torkham would take some months to begin.

He promised after Torkham, work on keeping the Spin Boldak crossing open round the clock would be launched.  Afghan businessmen would be granted permits for free trade activities between Kandahar City and Quetta.

nh/mud

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