The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.
Articles

Torkham crossing point closure badly impacting trade

Transporters and traders of both Afghanistan and Pakistan say
that the closure of Torkham crossing point has brought export, import
and other business activities on both sides to a halt

Transporters and traders of both Afghanistan and Pakistan have suffered for the fourth consecutive day due to the suspension of Torkham crossing point. All types of import and export activities have come to a halt since this Saturday when the Pakistan side banned entry of Afghan drivers without valid travel documents. Following the decision by the Pakistan side, the Afghanistan side has also banned entry of Pakistani transporters. Talks between Pakistan and Afghanistan on reopening the Torkham crossing have made no headway, with bilateral trade staying suspended for the fourth day in a row. Border officials from the two countries have met on reopening the main trade route. They conferred on ways of resuming vehicular and pedestrian movement but could not arrive at a solution. In the meantime, transporters from both sides had smooth movement until this Saturday as they were allowed to travel only on their passports with no visas. Transporters and traders of both Afghanistan and Pakistan say that the closure of Torkham crossing point has brought export, import and other business activities on both sides to a halt. They urged Pakistan and Afghanistan to resolve issues for the immediate opening of the main crossing point. They believe that the continued closure of Torkham for all kinds of traffic will badly impact bilateral and regional trade. Currently, hundreds of trucks are stuck at both sides of the crossing point. They are carrying perishable goods including fresh fruits, poultry and other items are at risk of getting rot, inflicting huge losses on businessmen. Transporters and traders of the two countries have repeatedly urged both Pakistan and Afghanistan to take urgent measures for ending the standoff and all the trade and movement of people between the two neighboring countries. The Torkham crossing point had been previously closed due to clashes between the border forces of the two countries. Last time, the Afghanistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs had criticized the closure of the main border crossing with Pakistan, saying the halt in trade would see heavy losses for businesses. It is worth mentioning that Torkham, considered as one of the key crossing points between Pakistan and Afghanistan, remained closed for the fifth day on Sunday, as talks to negotiate the reopening made no headway, stranding trade convoys and travelers on both sides. Pakistan shut the crossing point, one of the two main crossings between the two neighboring countries, this Saturday for transporters and Afghan drivers lacking visas on their passports. Afghan truckers transporting fresh fruits and vegetables to the neighboring country, fear the merchandise could go rotten if the Torkham gate is not reopened soon. Mashal Noori

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.