Monday, January 17, 2022

Trade with Afghanistan increases after the fall of Kabul

Since the Taliban took control of Kabul on Sunday, Pakistan’s bilateral trade with Afghanistan has increased.

The number of freight trucks and pedestrians crossing the western border has increased significantly.

When the Taliban took the Afghan district of Spin Boldak near the Chaman border in Balochistan in the second week of July, the amount of bilateral commerce had plummeted to an all-time low.

According to data compiled by Pakistan’s customs, which administers and governs border customs stations, bilateral trade with Afghanistan reached a historic low on August 15 when only 475 trucks carrying goods — exports, imports, and transit goods — crossed the border at Chaman, Torkham, Kharlachi, and Ghulam Khan.

On August 15, the Taliban took control of Kabul and declared themselves the only rulers of Afghanistan.

At the Taliban’s inaugural news conference on Tuesday, spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid stated that the Taliban will continue to trade with neighboring nations. He stated that efforts will be done to boost commerce.

On Wednesday, the number of trucks crossing the border reached 1,123. (August 17). “We expect this number to rise more after Muharram,” a senior customs official said.
He predicted that the quantity of cargo/trucks crossing the border would grow more next week based on the pattern over the last several days.

According to reports, the Taliban-led administration in Afghanistan is set to prioritise numerous pressing trade facilitation concerns.

“We have conducted many meetings with Afghan officials for addressing these concerns since November last year,” the customs officer said, adding that these issues remained unsolved despite several remainders.

According to truck drivers, one of the reasons for the halt in freight flow was that Afghan police and transport ministry officials stationed on the Afghan side requested that drivers pay between $10,000 and 25,000 Afghanis to allow their vehicles to return to Pakistan.

According to customs, no such requests were made after the Taliban took power.

During a border liaison committee meeting last week, the trade officer of the Afghanistan embassy was informed that over 2,000 empty vehicles/containers had become stopped on the Afghan side.

According to customs statistics, 13 empty cars were returned to Pakistan on August 15 at Torkham customs posts and 68 at Chaman, while no vehicle was returned to Pakistan at Kharlachi or Ghulam Khan.

On August 17, 86 empty cars returned to Torkham, 16 to Chaman, and no vehicle returned to Kharlachi or Ghulam Khan.

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