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More Restrictions on Trade from Afghanistan to Pakistan

Published Jan 24, 2020
Updated Feb 29, 2020

After blocking through trade from Afghanistan to India, Pakistan is laying down new restrictions for movement of exports from Kabul.

Jan AqaNavid, spokesman for the ministry of commerce and industrial said, “Based on new restrictions, Afghanistan exports should be transited through trucks that have tracers.” Navid said the majority of them don’t have tracer trucks, making it rough to do business. “This issue should be negotiated, Afghanistan should provide its plans and offers to find a solution for it,” he added.

Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA)has permitted trade by Pakistan with Central Asia while Pakistan has allowed Afghan trade with India by the land route, though not Indian goods to flow to Afghanistan.

Afghan vehicles would be able to transport goods to India through the Wagah border. Linking internal produce with markets is the most important issue for trade and Afghan’s high quality fruits and nuts were not having a ready market for the huge potential which was possible with Afghan trade route to India by road and was to be a big boost to agriculture exports from the country.

This will generate enough interest for some poppy farmers to leave their traditional trade and go in for normal fruits and nuts cultivation.

Ironically it would also drive up the price of poppy and Taliban will have to shift their economic extraction network towards other farm produce.

Since the guerrillas are adept at extortion and ‘taxation’ they may do so but the same may not yield the high value that was there with poppy as with legitimate markets, traders will also be attracted towards export legally rather than through illegal smuggling networks characterized by the drug trade.

But the restrictions that have been imposed by Pakistan has resulted in denial of this benefit.