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Afghanistan wants amendment in Pakistan transit trade

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI) criticized barriers implemented by Pakistan over the Afghan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement in past five years, seeking amendment in the agreement before extension for the second time.

Deputy of MoCI Muzammel Shinwari said: “We recommend amendment in transit trade agreement before it extends for the second term.”

“In October, we requested the government of Pakistan that we don’t want to continue the agreement automatically with same conditions. We would like to propose some amendment,” Shinwari said.

“We will invite Pakistan representatives in Kabul in February to have first round of negotiations over the amendment of the agreement.”

The reason of asking for amendment was called several problems in transportation, “because our trucks are still not allowed to go beyond Peshawar in Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa and Chaman in Balochistan states”.

Deputy commerce minister said that Pakistani trucks were allowed to travel across Afghanistan.

Banking guaranty and tracking system of the lorries were called as other challenges for Afghan traders to be discussed as parts of amendment.

If we want to reach the target of five billion dollars deal up to 2017, the problems must be solved, he insisted.

Due to these challenges, the government sought alternatives, as work is going on over Chabahar corridor, he said.

He also pledged to address Pakistani traders’ challenges inside the country.

Deputy Head of chambers of commerce and industries Khanjan Alokozai said that Pakistan must follow the world trade organization rules. “Otherwise, we will complain to the international court.”

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