Afghan and Pakistani officials at a ceremony on Thursday signed the 6-month extension of the Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA).
In this ceremony, Afghan and Pakistani officials appreciated the increase in trade and exports from both sides, Pakistan’s ambassador Mansoor Ahmad Khan said.
He said that the officials "lauded the excellent work of technical teams noting significant progress in negotiations on new APTTA" and that the "Pakistan side welcomed the Afghan offer to host the 9th APTTCA (the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Coordination Authority) in Kabul in August."
According to Khan, Pakistan’s Commerce Minister Abdul Razzak Dawood said that he will lead the Pakistan delegation to Kabul along with a large delegation of businesspersons and investors to have an interaction with their Afghan counterparts on the sidelines of the 9th APTTCA meeting.
Afghan and Pakistani officials said that 95 percent of problems in the way of trade and transit between the two countries have been solved.
The only problem that has remained is Pakistan’s opposition to imports of Indian goods through Pakistan to Afghanistan, Afghan Minister of Industry and Commerce Nisar Ahmad Ghoryani said.
The officials said that a delegation from Pakistan is expected to visit Kabul, solve the issue and sign a new agreement on trade and transit between the two countries.
“The issue that has left is a political issue between them (India and Pakistan) that we don’t have the right to interfere. We had progressed in this respect too. We will also get the permission so that the goods are sent to Central Asia,” Ghoryani said.
“Political issues have always had impacts on our trade activities,” said Yunus Mohmand, the deputy minister of industry and commerce. “We hope that politics is removed from trade.”
Pakistan on Thursday ended the limitation on Pakistani companies for transfer of Afghan goods from Karachi Port. But the private sector said that such facilities can be removed at any time in absence of an agreement in this respect.
“Now everyone, even those who have one truck, can carry goods. This is good for us,” said Khan Jan Alokozay, head of the joint chamber of commerce of Afghanistan and Pakistan.