Pakistani products coming into Afghanistan flow as usual, but Afghan business people are still not allowed to export goods to the Pakistani ports, the Afghan traders and merchants said Thursday.
Merchants called on the Afghan government to take action and raise the issue of the barring of Afghan exports with the Pakistani government.
Afghan merchants said that hundreds of trucks enter Afghanistan daily from Pakistan, but the exports from Afghanistan to Pakistan still are halted.
This comes as the harvest of vegetable and fresh fruits are at their peak in Afghanistan, and the Afghan traders are losing millions of dollars because of the closure of crossings with Pakistan.
“Our trucks have been stopped in Torkham for the past three months, we don’t know what to do, the products are on the verge of destruction,” said Hejratullah Hamdard, a merchant.
“We don’t know when the government will take reciprocal action against Pakistan,” said Navid, a merchant.
“There are a lot of challenges, I don’t know why the government is silent about it, Pakistan has always tried to close the crossing areas for exports from Afghanistan so that it can increase its own exports,” said Zalmay Azimi, the deputy head of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI).
“We can take reciprocal action at a time when we are self-sufficient, but now we are dependent,” said Nasrullah Sahibzada, the head of Nangarhar customs.
According to the Kandahar Chamber of Commerce and Industries, 200 trucks loaded with vegetables and fruits are ready for export to Pakistan and then onward to the Indian markets, but these trucks are still awaiting permission from Pakistan.
Also on Wednesday, business people said that the one-sided implementation of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Trade and Transit Agreement (APTTA) is the main cause of problems blocking Afghanistan’s exports into the Pakistani markets.
The business community called on Pakistan to abide by its commitment regarding APTTA.
Business people also accused the Afghan Ministry of Commerce and Industries for failing to persuade Pakistan to act upon its commitments with APTTA.
They said that Afghanistan loses "millions of dollars" because of Pakistan’s "illegal excuses."
The Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) has also said that APTTA is balanced with the country’s trade relations with Pakistan.
This comes a week after officials of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) said that Pakistan had fully removed restrictions on imports of products from Afghanistan.
Pakistan closed the crossing points for Afghan exports two months ago. But the Pakistani exports to Afghanistan continued as routine during this period.