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Pakistan changes Afghan transit trade mechanism to meet trader’s demands

According to Pakistan's Special Representative for Afghanistan Mohammad Sadiq, Pakistan has amended the bonded carrier regime system for Afghan transit trade to comply with the traders' demands.

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“Under new regulations even owner of 1 truck can now transport bonded cargo. This ends the rent seeking & monopoly of a few & substantially reduces the transportation cost,” Pakistan’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Mohammad Sadiq tweeted on Wednesday. The bonded cargo is transported from Pakistani ports to Afghanistan and beyond, he added.

It is important to note that interior ministry today closed the Torkham border point for all kinds of movement on the orders of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) to curb the spread of coronavirus pandemic. The decision came after Dr Faisal Sultan, the special assistant to the prime minister on health, said that there had been a “small but definitive uptick in [coronavirus] cases, percentage positivity and other parameters” in the country.

Though, the NCOC was informed that 3,000 Afghan students had started arriving in Pakistan, the interior minister Sheikh Rashid on Tuesday tweeted that Torkham border had been closed. “On the advice of the NCOC all types of immigration departure and arrival will be close from today at Torkham Border till the fresh Guidelines of NCOC,” he announced.

On Tuesday, Pakistan handed over seven containers of Covid-19 supplies to the Afghan government to help curtail the spread of the pandemic. The ceremony was attended by Afghan and Pakistani health officials with Chief Customs Collector Asif Mehmood Jah as the chief guest.

Read More: What’s next for Afghanistan after US exit?

The seven containers which comprised of medicines, oxygen cylinders, ventilators and other accessories were handed to Afghan commercial attaché.

Addressing the ceremony held at Torkham border, the customs official said that Pakistan had always been there with Afghan citizens during trying and Islamabad would extend all possible assistance to Kabul to fight Covid19.

He further said that the pandemic has affected the trade activities between the two countries immensely and once the situation returns to normal, both countries would work together to boost the activities again.

Afghan Consulate Commercial Attaché Fawad Asghar said that the pandemic has badly affected the livelihood of Afghanistan and the country is in dire need of oxygen as it struggles to deal with the third wave of the pandemic.

The seven containers compromising medicines, oxygen cylinders, ventilators and other accessories were handed to Afghan commercial attaché during the ceremony.