By: Shukria Kohistani
Pakistan government has announced that it wants to create 12 markets on other side of Durand Line.
Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) and Afghan experts in interviews with The Kabul Times correspondent say the government of Pakistan has decided to create business markets beyond Durand Line.
“Our suggestion to the Pakistan government is to create such business markets bilaterally rather than unilaterally and it is good that Afghanistan should be given part for business in such markets,” said Amin Babak, head of public relations of Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries.
The main concern of Afghanistan is that such markets should not be controlled only by Pakistan. For controlling such markets, Afghanistan should be given role to have somehow control on the markets.
The ACCI, supporting Afghanistan private sector, says it welcomes any opportunities provided for improvement of trade and investment in Afghanistan, but Afghan traders should be given chance to make use of these markets and transit their goods to other countries via the respective markets.
“It all right that creation of business markets in border areas is a new business through which goods are transited, but creation of such markets by the government of Pakistan should be legally processed and followed based on legal agreement of both countries so that people of the two countries can equally make use of the markets,” said Saifuddin Saihoon, an Afghan economical expert.
He also said that for creation such business markets in other side of Durand Line, methods which can be accepted by all should be considered, adding that social and economic infrastructures should be considered to have insurance for commercial goods within the respective business markets, or it won’t be beneficial for the people.
Saihoon further said that Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries and other government institutions should be involved in creation of such markets so that they could make use of the markets in future.
Pointing to similar trade markets in Badakhshan, Saihoon added that Wakhan market bordering Tajikistan was used by traders of both Afghanistan and Tajikistan, saying that creation of border markets was a good step towards improvement of business.
“Naturally trade centers or markets are those centers to which traders import their goods and export their goods via these markets to other countries, which is beneficial to traders; therefore, Afghanistan should be aware of creation such markets,” Saihoon stressed.
This comes after Pakistan government announced that it has decided to create a range of trade markets beyond Durand Line, which Afghanistan government has not been informed of the step so far.
Pakistan has always created problems for Afghan traders who have sought other routes and alternative for exporting their goods to other countries of the world.