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Political temperature hit Af-Pak trade: Export to Pakistan drops by 21.9pc in past six months

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Trade between Afghanistan and its neighbor Pakistan have badly affected due to the ongoing political temperature and sever maintenance in the borders, it has been reported.

According to a Pakistani news agency, (News International) export of various items from Afghanistan to the hostile neighbor Pakistan has collapsed by 21.9 percent and import has fallen by 14.9 percent for the last six months.

Quoting Qurban Ali khan, the custom chief of Pakistan, the source said, “export of 30 essential items to Afghanistan accounted for $103 million, but overall trade volume dropped.”

Pakistan’s export to Afghanistan was recorded at 53 billion Pakistani rupees during July-December last year as compared to 62.49 billion Pakistani rupees analogous period of the previous year-2015.

According to report, wheat and flour trade between the two countries have declined to 9.28 billion Pakistani rupees during the current year as compared to 13.51 billion during 2015-16.

Moreover, the import of rice, cement and other daily staffers have also decreased to a large extent, but import of medicines remained untapped noting high to 2.21 billion from 1.94 billion Pakistan rupees.

“My entire mercantile perished twice at the border crossing due to the strict steps taken by the authorities on both sides,” said Niaz Muhammad, a fruits merchant. “It is apparently due to the strain in ties between the two states.”

Similarly, export of grapes, apples, apricots, tomatoes, onions, palm oil, raw cotton, mineral coal, solar panels, submersible pumps and many other items from Afghanistan has also suffered badly.

Talking on Af-Pak trade ties, Qurban Ali khan said, “Afghanistan remains a major market for Pakistani products.”

He added, the downhill in trade was occurred due to the harsh policy over border management and tense relations between the two countries have resulted in tough rules over visa issuance. “Induction of scanner system and strict attitudes of authorities are other main obstacles to slump trade in the both sides,” he underlined.

On the other hand, Khan is looking optimistic for better trade-environment, in which benefits the two countries.

Tension between the two countries had reached at boiling point when Pakistani border officials had started gate construction at zero-point on Torkham crossing. The move has ended in a bloody clash between the security forces.

Similarly, the government of Afghanistan disappointed in Pakistan’s double game in war on terror. Pakistan is interested in strengthening its military position on Afghan borders rather than trade with Afghanistan. Keeping in view the critical situations, Kabul must have to pay in similar coins which are speaking by Pakistan.

Likewise, Afghan government should focus to search new trade routes, like Chabahar port in Iran. Trade with Tajakistan and India via their transit routes and air-transportation should be taken on priority bases to minimize dependency on Pakistan.



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