The continued closure of Torkham crossing has inflicted heavy financial losses on traders on both sides of the Torkham crossing, according to officials.
The Afghanistan and Pakistan Joint Chamber of Industry and Commerce said that since the closure of the Torkham gate, the traders on both sides sustained more than $1 million in financial losses.
“We trade domestic products to Pakistan. There are goods both exported from Afghanistan to Pakistan and imported from Pakistan to Afghanistan. Both sides have suffered. We have transit of Afghan products to Karachi Waga port and Pakistan traders export to Central Asia, both are stopped now,” said Khanjan Alokozai, head of the chamber.
The traders said that vegetable and fruits are typically exported to Pakistan at this time.
“The Torkham gate has been closed for the past five years due to security issues. The export of goods of Afghanistan to Pakistan in this season includes grapes and vegetables. The products are stranded in trucks at Torkham crossing. Some of the products, especially the fruits, have been spoiled. Some of the fruits are being in Nangarhar,” said Zalmai Azimi, a trader.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MoIC) said that negotiations are underway with the Pakistani officials to reopen Torkham crossing.
“The leaders of the Islamic Emirate, particularly the Minister of Industry and Commerce, are in contact with the Pakistani ambassador and also with the Secretary of Commerce of Pakistan. Our attaché in Pakistan is also working in this regard,” said Akhundzada Abdul Salam Javad, a spokesman for the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
Earlier, the MoIC said that within the first five months of the current solar year, trade rates between Afghanistan and Pakistan reached $842 million.