The smuggling of Pakistani goods to Afghanistan has tripled since the border closure between the two countries, the Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) said on Monday.
This was happing as more than 50.000 trucks full of Afghanistan goods have been stopped in Pakistan.
According to ACCI, Pakistani goods enter Afghanistan markets without custom duties having been paid and are sold at four times higher prices than normal.
“The smuggling of goods has increased and we know that Pakistani products have been entering Afghanistan markets in various ways and it is increasing day by day,” said Atiqullah Nusrat, deputy head of ACCI.
According to the Afghanistan and Pakistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (APJCCI), there are around 20 smuggling routes through eight bordering provinces that Pakistani goods are being smuggled into Afghanistan.
“There are many routes used to smuggle Paksitani goods such as medicine, sugar and other products,” said Khan Jan Alokozay, head of APJCCI.
Meanwhile, a number of Afghan fresh fruits traders said although borders are closed, up to five trucks of Pakistani oranges come into Afghanistan daily.
“There is a route near Jalalabad city, the capital of Nangarhar province, through which goods have been transferred by animals in mountainous areas. The goods are then transferred by small trucks that enter into the Afghanistan market,” said Ghulam Mohammad, trader of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Musafir Qoqandi, spokesman of Ministry of Commerce and Industries said: “Goods illegally entering Afghanistan cause many problems and decreases the country’s national revenue. No office assesses the quality of the goods that are entering Afghanistan illegally.”
ACCI officials said government has done nothing to resolve problems that have been caused by the blocked route between Afghanistan and Pakistan.