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Editorial: Losing ground

Afghanistan and Pakistan are among each other’s largest trading partners. Though an agreement was signed in 2010 to strengthen trade relations and facilitate Afghan transit trader through Pakistan. However, the implementation has been mixed up with some barriers and troubles. Sure the trouble maker was Pakistan government as it is known to all that the country several time banned crossing points, leaving Afghan traders with huge financial losses. The Afghan government always wanted to have a great relation with Pakistan in all areas, but Pakistan always played double game from politics to trades. It is very important for Pakistan to realize the significant development that has taken place in Afghanistan in the past years. It is necessary for Pakistan to think and have a review of its relation with Afghanistan. We are not weak, and nothing will happen if we fully stop trading with Pakistan. Thanks to the leaders of the National Unity Government (NUG), for their outstanding performances during these years that we are no more like mouth and lip with Pakistan. In the past, Pakistan closed crossing points, in which traders faced huge difficulties, but the price of essential needs was steady. In fact, the price of needy items came downs instead to go up. Thank you President Ashraf Ghani, and CEO, Abdullah Abdullah for the indefatigable efforts for making us no more depending on Pakistan. Now we have so many other land roads to bring our commodities home. We are rich in form of having neighbors, and the concept of landlocked country is not matching with ground realties these days. We exports and imports commodities through other neighbors instead of Pakistan, but it is Pakistan that rapidly losing market for its products in Afghanistan. It is not wall-type statement as Pakistani items—something all Afghan masse see it as low quality product, are being replaced with Indian and Iranian exports. Moreover, Pakistan instead of providing more facility, it has tripled the tariffs on 120 types of Afghan goods that are being exported to Pakistan. According to Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI), as result of these tariffs, Afghan traders have stopped exporting goods to Pakistan. Based on report, Pakistan has increased the tariff on each ton of grapes from 8,000 Pakistani Rupees to 28,000 Rupees. This is totally crazy move, showing Pakistan never wants to have good relations with Afghanistan. But the Islamabad is forgetting that such move could prove bitter for Pakistan as it can push the country toward more isolation. India and Iran are never imports any products from Pakistan due to its low quality. Afghanistan is the only market for Pakistani products. Think what will be happened to Pakistan if Afghanistan bans importing items from there. This would soon happen, and will be catastrophe for Pakistan. Pakistan has to review its strategy and the first thing to do is to stop supporting and harboring various insurgent outfits, and also try to have good trade relation with Kabul. Surely, this is craziest thinking, and demand, but let’s be hopeful.

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