TORKHAM BORDER: Traders and businessmen on Friday demanded of the Pakistan and Afghan governments to jointly workout for the removal of hurdles at Torkham border crossing that caused the decline business activities at severe low level on both sides of the border.
It was stated in a meeting held at Torkham border between Pak-Afghan joint Chamber of Commerace and Industries,Torkham Customs officials and custom agents and Afghan businessmen and border authorities.
The meeting was arranged on the directives of collector customs appraisement Peshawar, Muhammad Ashfaq.
Additional Collector Appraisement Torkhem, Muhammad Rizwan chaired the meeting.
Director Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI) Ziaul Haq Sarhadi, SVP PAJCCI, Khalid Shezad,former president SCCI, Faiz Muhammad Faizi, superintendent Torkhem, Haleemullah and Torkhem transport president, Haji Azeemullah Shinwari were also part of the meeting from Pakistani side.
Director Afghan custom Torkham,engineer Muslim Khaksar, Qari Abdul Samad, Qari Zahid, Haji Asmatullah, Maulvi Muhammad Yasir, Haji Ziaullah and others were also invited to the meeting held at Pakistani side of the Torkham border
Both Pakistani and Afghan traders and exporters raised questions over the hard and fast conditions and hurdles being faced by transporters and businessmen at Torkham border. They termed the constrains a core issue that caused the drastic decline in commerce and trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The main objective of the meeting was to shares views and opportunities between business communities and to find a sustainable and durable solution for for the problems hindring bilateral trade via Torkham border crossing.
Ziaul Haq Sarhadi said that a number of problems Pakistani add Afghan businessmen facing for the last so many years but yet could not addressed it on priority basis.
He said a large number of the trucks transported goods to Afghanistan have been detained along with the empty containers in various areas of Afghan city of Jalalabad.
Sarhadi said more than 2500 to 3000 trucks and containers were still illegally parked in Khawar Maidan area in Jalalabad who pay rent Rs150,000 damages per month.
Ziaul Haq Sarhadi said the shipping companies were also charging an amount of US dollar 120 per day over the delay in return of the empty container, inflicting huge losses on business community.
He demanded of the Afghan government to forthwith release all the trucks that have been detained in Jalalabad.
The meeting also discussed the pendency of Transit Documentation (T-1) of the trucks carry goods to Afghanistan. They said that T-1 of more than 30 to 40 thousand of trucks was pending and causing slowdown of clearance process.
Assistant Director Torkham custom, Iqra Shaukat gave briefing to the Afghan officials on T-1 system and apprised them about its updating in their system.
Traders add custom clearing agents said that due to unnecessary checking of goods by various departments apart from Frontier Corps(FC) and NLC causing extra time in clearance of goods and create a lot of problems for business community.
They said that clearance process at Karachi port had also been slowed down while cross stuffing of goods was not started despite the issuance of notification.
Additional Collector Appraisement, Muhammad Rizwan said custom department was fully awared of problems being faced by business community of both the countries which would be resolved through mutual consultation.
He said agreement with all the suggestions presented in the meeting and held out assurance of taking measures in this regard.