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Afghanistan resumes exports to Pakistan after ban lifted

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KABUL: Afghanistan resumed goods exports to Pakistan on Monday after a ban was lifted by Islamabad.

Afghan businessmen had been on a tight spot for weeks after Pakistan imposed a ban on Afghanistan exports, even though ironically imports were allowed. The move will reinstate trade ties between the two neighbors after almost two months halt due to the spread of Covid-19. Bilateral political ties remain turbulent though.

Gubernatorial spokesman of Nangarhar provincial governor, Attaullah Khogianai, has confirmed the resumption of exports to Pakistan as of Monday.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industries has welcomed the ban lift, saying that Afghanistan is producing large portions of fresh fruits and vegetables in summer season and the reopening of trade routes will benefit both formers and traders.

After the spread of the pandemic Covid-19, Pakistan has blocked its two major crossing; Torkham located in eastern Afghanistan alongside the Durand-Line and Spin- Boldak located alongside the Durand-Line in southern Afghanistan.

However the gates had been temporarily reopened for several times as one-way for imports from Pakistan.

Earlier, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry has voiced concerns over the blockage of the gates by Pakistan against the Afghanistan’s exports, saying that the Afghan traders had accrued over 100 dollar in revenue since the pandemic virus spread in the country. 

With observation of the standard measures to avoid the outbreak of the Covid-19, the ministry of commerce said the exportations were allowed to Pakistan based on a new agreement signed between Kabul and Islamabad.

The ministry also confirmed that gates’ blockage against exports has affected the Afghanistan’s economy, especially the private sectors. The Afghan officials said that another transit gate “Ghulam Khan” would be also opened for commercial deals between the two countries. Ghulam Khan crossing is said to be 400 km closer to the Pakistan commerce port than Torkham.

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