National Logistics Cell (NLC) in coordination with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has completed arrangements for round the clock trans-border trade with Afghanistan through Torkham Border Terminal that is expected to be formally opened next week. A ceremony will be held at Torkham which will be attended by high level dignitaries of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The development entails huge benefits for landlocked Afghanistan which will drastically reduce its dependency on ports of other countries. The move will facilitate export/import business, reduce congestion and ease pedestrian between the two countries.
NLC has made additional arrangements for office accommodation of Customs, NADRA, FIA, ANF and other departments to discharge their duties pertaining to regulation of cargo and passenger movement. More container & baggage scanners, CCTV monitoring, lighting and other amenities have been put in place for smooth functioning of the terminal.
It merits a mention here that Torkham Border Terminal has brought about a paradigm shift in regulating to and fro movement of passengers and cargoes that has helped a great deal in curbing the cross border movement of miscreants, illegal trade, narcotics trafficking as well as backward flow of transit trade goods to Pakistan.
The Terminal has not only become an important instrument of overall border management system but has also arrested the negative fallout of smuggling of imported goods on the local industry. The Border Terminal is bringing about a major cultural change as Torkham is no longer free for all border crossing point as everything is being documented and accounted for.
The border terminal has generated a lot of economic activities in the area which is hugely benefiting the local Khuga Khel Shinwari tribe.
The tribe is being paid handsome amount of share from the revenue generated on monthly basis besides millions of rupees annual payment in lieu of land provided for the border terminal under lease agreement.
It may be mentioned here that work on improvement of facilities at the border terminal has already started under the Integrated Transit Trade Management System (ITTMS) regime. The border terminal will meet all international standards after completion of the up-gradation project.