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Editorial: Minting money through bilateral trade

The already sinking bilateral trade between Afghanistan and Pakistan likely to another jolt when a large number of traders, transporters and drivers are accusing the high ups in government of demanding huge amount in bribe and in return now they threatening of ceasing business. Earlier, most of traders, transporters and drivers from both the neighboring countries had accused Pakistan’s personnel from both civil and law enforcing agencies of demanding bribes. But now the trend of “bribe” or minting money from all those involved in bilateral and transit trade inside Afghanistan reached to its peak.  Not only drivers and traders from Pakistan controlled tribal regions but the Afghans are narrating tales of huge amount being demanded in bribe by personnel at Gomrok (Customs), check posts and crossing points at Torkham, Chaman, Kharlachi and Ghulam Khan. Some of the cross points are locked but the traders with consent of Pakistan’s border forces personnel continue their routine business. Beside others, these drivers and transporters are mentioning names of Governors like highly responsible figures in the illegitimate and immoral trend of bribe. They allege that earlier they have to pay up to 5,000 Afghanis right from Torkham till last destination. But now they are being forced to pay up to RS 60,000 for each goods truck and they are being told that the amount is being passed to Governor. At one the bribe was on halt but with posting of present Governor at Nangarhar, bribe trend resumed. Drivers and transporters at Pakistan have already made complaints of forcible bribe being received from them for unloaded trucks on return. They allege that hundreds of unloaded goods trucks and trailers are still stranded in Kabul and other cities and towns throughout Afghanistan. They are alleging maltreatment and misbehave at hands of personnel of Afghanistan security forces. No one can deny the fact that due to one-side changes made by Pakistan, the transit and even bilateral between the two countries was badly affected. Though it may be in according to Pakistan strategy which is known for hostile attitude towards the Pashtoons but in future it could be harmful for Afghanistan. The Pashtoons, living across the Durand Line in Pakistan are considering Afghanistan as their country but due to rulers hostile attitude they are suffering a lot. The increasing decline in bilateral trade is posing bad impacts on Pashtoons, especially those living across the border. Now it is the time for unity government especially President Dr. Ashraf Ghani to take a notice of increasing trend of minting money from drivers and transporters. 

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