The Kabul Times.
Economic

Pakistani traders slam closure of borders with Afghanistan, Iran

Pakistani Trade

By: Ahmadullah

KABUL: President of Chamber of Commerce of Pakistan, Ghulam Farooq Khilji, Senior Vice President Badruddin Kakar, Vice President Dad Khilji and other officials have appealed to the government of Pakistan and the Federal Ministry of Commerce to resume trade activities at Pak-Afghan and Pak-Iran borders.
“Trade between Pakistan-Iran and Pakistan-Afghanistan has halted due to the closure of borders as thousands of goods vehicles are stranded. A large number of exporters and importers are concerned about the people who will get unemployed due to the measure,” the Pakistan’s Chamber of Commerce leadership said in a statement, as quoted by the Tribune.
They said the Pak-Iran border closure to prevent the spread of coronavirus had stopped trading activities for weeks and now the Pak-Afghan border has also been shut down. They further said that trade activities on the Torkham border are fully restored, as well as, goods are being imported from Karachi port.
Khilji said that there have been reports of coronavirus cases in Karachi but despite the threat, commercial activities on Karachi Port were taking place in full swing.
“Thousands of vehicles have been trapped on both sides of the Pak-Iran border. There are also containers containing fresh items. Besides, there are no arrangements. Industrialists and traders are obliged to pay a hundred dollars in case of stopping daily cargo of international freight vehicles,” he added, according to Tribune.
The traders added that despite no virus case, Chaman and Taftan borders have been shut down for commercial activities, which is equivalent to the economic massacre of people belonging to the province’s industry and commerce sector.
The traders demanded of the government and the Ministry of Commerce to take urgent steps in this regard. Preventing the virus and promoting bilateral trade are both possible, they said.
They appealed to Pakistan’s Chief Minister Jam Kamal to address their issues on urgent basis by conveying the situation to the federal government.
Earlier, District President of Baluchistan Anjuman-e-Tajran Dad Shah Parwak, Senior Vice President Haji Rehmatullah Rehmat and others in a joint statement on Monday criticised the government’s decision to close the Pak-Afghan border.
The Pakistani government decided to close one of its two border crossings with Afghanistan for a week to prevent the spread of coronavirus, officials said on Sunday.
The traders, however, slammed the decision and said the locals were facing immense difficulties due to the step.  They said the measure is equivalent to “snatching the bread from the poor” as the employment of the people of Chaman is associated with the border activities, adding that the businessmen too were facing problems due to the initiative.

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