Pak-Afghan Traders Demand Reopening Of Torkham, Chaman Routes
PESHAWAR, 27 February: Members of the business community trading between Pakistan and Afghanistan have appealed to the government of Pakistan to reopen Torkham and Chaman routes to restore bilateral trade between the two neighboring countries.
“Due to the closure of the borders, more than 6000 loaded trucks are stranded on both sides. Majority of these vehicles are loaded with fruits, vegetables and other edible items, which have almost perished,” said Mirwais Yousafzai, Afghan Trade Commissioner while addressing a news conference in Peshawar press club here on Monday.
Flanked by members of the Afghan Transporters Association and Afghan Traders Association, Yousafzai added that the closure of the border caused billions of rupees losses to the traders from both Pakistan and Afghanistan.
“We request the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan to treat trade separate from politics,” he remarked.
He alleged that Afghan transporters were being harassed by police and other law enforcement agencies in Peshawar and other cities. “We ask the Pakistan authorities to avoid harassing Afghan transporters and provide them protection,” he added.
Yousafzai further demanded that Torkham and Chaman routes should be reopened at the earliest so that business activities between the two countries could be resumed.
“The suspension of trade is causing more losses to Pakistan. In past, the volume of bilateral trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan was about Rs250 billion which is now reduced to Rs130 billion. If the Pakistan government continues its policies, the Afghan traders would further reduce the volume of the bilateral trade,” he informed.