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Keep Durand Line open 24/7, Islamabad asked

Keep Durand Line open 24/7, Islamabad asked

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May 06, 2020 - 09:29

PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa business community has once again urged the government to keep the Durand Lineinfo-icon open round the clock in the interest of transit and bilateral trade with Afghanistaninfo-icon.

Traders, exporters and importers voiced their grave concerns over the losses resulting from land route closures with Afghanistan at a meeting with the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) here on Tuesday.

Chaired by SCCI President SCCI President Maqsood Anwar Pervaiz, the meeting demanded 24/7 opening of the Durand Line to boost trade activities in the province.

Pervaiz told participants the Interior Ministry had notified keeping open the Torkham and Chaman crossings open five days a week for exports only (both for transit and bilateral trade).

Under the notification, at least 100 trucks are allowed daily each from Torkham and Chaman to cross into Afghanistan.

The restrictions were harming traders on the one hand and causing heavy losses to the national exchequer on the other, the participants complained.

Pakistaninfo-icon's trade with Afghanistan had continually been falling as most of the volume had been shifted to Iran and India, the SCCI chief noted.

Both Torkham and Chaman borders had to be kept open 24/7 to strengthen the Afghan transit trade, stressed Pervaiz, who feared vegetable and fruits in stranded trucks/containers could perish.

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