Taliban regime dam serious in promoting bilateral trade with Pakistan

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Tariq Saeed

In what could be termed an extremely positive move, the new Taliban regime in Afghanistan has not only facilitated the openings of borders with Pakistan especially the Pak-Afghan border at Torkham but also hinted at drastically reducing the border taxes that hitherto ran into millions on vehicles crossing into Afghanistan and Pakistan in a single day.

This move the observers believe would go long way in further strengthening the bilateral trade between the two brotherly countries.

To the much satisfaction and amusement of the Pakistan businessmen the Taliban, as the sources revealed, have cut the border taxes drastically in order to promote business with Pakistan especially through Torkham border.

The Taliban, who have taken over the reins of Kabul on Sunday, have already opened border at Torkham facilitating the Pakistani goods transport to cross into Afghanistan. Hundreds of trucks, it may be recalled were stranded in Afghanistan and Pakistan as the cross-border trade came to a complete halt Kabul capital descended into chaos.
The Taliban had already taken control of the border crossing before they captured Kabul over the weekend.

They flew their white flag on their side of the border. With Afghan authorities losing control of the border-crossing to the Taliban, Pakistan had closed the border on Sunday.

“The Taliban have also drastically reduced border taxes on several items, especially sugar and petrol”. sources said. In fact on Tuesday when the border crossing formally reopened, the Taliban was the only authority in Afghanistan.

“Vehicles loaded with goods began to move Monday night after preliminary talks concluded with the Taliban and Pakistan border authorities”. Business leaders dialing with Pak-Afghan trade told Pakistan Observer adding from Tuesday the Taliban have announced their own tax regime.

“They have reduced duties initially on certain items which is a very good sign as it will go long way in fast promotion of the bilateral trade”. A business leader said.

It may be recalled that while Pakistan imports certain items including fruits from Afghanistan, the War-trodden Afghanistan has been importing everything from needle to heavy machinery from Pakistan.

No doubt the smuggling of foreign goods from Afghanistan to our Bara markets through unfrequented routs has reduced considerably owing to effective border fencing by the Pakistan Army.

However, some of the leaders expressed the apprehensions that they may not have the same attitude from the Pakistani officials particularly the Customs authorities deployed at Torkham Borders who take millions of Rupees from the exporters and importers and big chuck of the recovered amount go to their pockets instead of contributing to national kitty.

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