ACCI welcomes Pakistani PM’s step on Torkham border

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has already said that he has tasked officials to make arrangements so that the Torkham border crossing to Afghanistan can remain open 24 hours a day, a move was welcomed by Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI).
Welcoming the move, a number of experts expressed different views in their interviews with The Kabul Times
“The sooner tensions between Afghanistan and Afghanistan are solved, the more both countries would earn benefit,” an economist Shir Ali Tazri said.
Opening Torkham border ‘round the clock’ will follow with fruitful impacts on boosting bilateral trade relations and efforts should also be made so the trade problems to be tackled in accordance with international laws and conventions, he further said.
At the same time, a number of Afghan citizens say that the Pakistani government should ease people commutations through Torkham border, because, daily, a number of Afghans go to that country for work and treatment, thus, they shouldn’t face any problem while they have legal documents with them.
“Our people have been commuting to Pakistan since long, but the commutations have become difficult since few years. Therefore, it is hoped the relations between the two countries get improved,” a Kabul resident Rokay said.
An expert Abdullah Wahid Yar said that the move would create optimism for Afghanistan and Pakistan traders, but it wouldn’t solve our constant problems forever, as when our traders export fruit to that country, they have to pay high tariff and sometimes their merchandizes get stuck in Karachi Port.
He believes that both countries’ trade relations would improve if Pakistan’s new government steps up to fundamentally solve Afghan traders transit and business problems.
Reacting on Imran Khan’s recent step on remaining Torkham border open for 24 hours, ACCI says the move should last permanently.
ACCI deputy Khanjan Alokozay told media that opening of Torkham port would help tackle problems of both sides’ traders—an action would boost imports and exports’ rate as well.
Afghanistan and Pakistan trade relations have recently been decreased by 60 percent due to restrictions and temporary closing of the Torkham port by Pakistan, he said.
According to ACCI information, the trade rate between the two countries has been decreased from $3.5 billion to $1.5 billion.
Imran Khan has tasked the relevant govt. stakeholders to make necessary arrangements for the Torkham border to work round the clock within the next six months. He twitted that this step will be instrumental in boosting bilateral trade and enhancing people to people contacts between the two brotherly countries.
Shukria Kohistani

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