Afghanistan, Pakistan agree on free movement for cargo trucks

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Kabul and Islamabad reached an agreement with a Temporary Admission Document (TAD) for free movement of trucks and staff between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Based on the new agreement, the Afghanistan consulates in Quetta and Peshawar would issue documents for the Pakistani trucks, a joint press release said. The Pakistan consulates in Kandahar and Khost will issue documents for the Afghan trucks.

The agreement will come into effect on March 21, 2021.

The Joint Chamber of Commerce between Afghanistan and Pakistan said that the agreement will allow the Afghan trucks to freely move in all Pakistani cities.

“The governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan have agreed on it and it will soon become effective in practice,” said Naqibullah Sapai, head of the Joint Chamber.

The Afghan traders said that the free movement of the Afghan trucks in Pakistan would help reduce the price of commodities.

“Previously, the Afghan trucks were being fined while importing commodities from Karachi, but now these problems are resolved,” said Zalmai Azimi, a trader.

“We have finally done it! Historical development on regional connectivity front! We wish to share that Pakistan & Afghanistan have allowed free movement of each other’s trucks between the two countries and cross [staffing] Temporary Admission Documents (TAD),” said Abdul Razak Dawood, Adviser to Prime Minister of Pakistan for Commerce and Investment.

Meanwhile, the Chamber of Commerce and Investment of Afghanistan (ACCI) said a delegation of the Islamic Emirate has traveled to Lahore to facilitate trade between Afghanistan and Pakistan and is set to sign a memorandum of understanding between the two countries.

“The memorandum between Kabul and Lahore was prepared in advance, and the delegation of the Islamic Emirate is talking about a memorandum of understanding with the cooperation of traders,” said Mohammad Younis Momand, head of the Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI).

Meanwhile, the Afghanistan-Pakistan Joint Chamber of Commerce said that the delegation will also visit Lahore industrial parks during this trip.

“The problems between Afghanistan and Pakistan in the investment sector will be discussed,” said Naqibullah Safi, co-chair of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment.

In the meantime, some traders are criticizing the challenges at the Afghan-Pakistani crossings. “Every truck and container passing through Torkham is being tried by several different Pakistani departments, which is time-consuming and more cost-effective for traders,” said Muzamel Shinwari, the former deputy minister of industry and trade.

This comes as Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, first deputy prime minister, went to Torkham and talked to customs officials about passenger traffic, transit and trade.

Pakistan is one of Afghanistan’s largest trading partners, with much of the country’s exports either exported to Pakistan or shipped through it to other countries.

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