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Pakistan Concerned About ‘misuse’ of Transit Trade Deal With Afghanistan

The Foreign Office (FO) stated on Thursday that Pakistan was concerned about the “misuse” of the transit trade deal with Afghanistan and that it would engage Kabul’s authorities to address the issue because it was costing Pakistan tax revenue, according to Radio Pakistan.

The busy Torkham border crossing closed last week after Pakistani and Afghan Taliban forces started firing at each other, according to local officials.

Hundreds of trucks laden with goods have been halted and traders have complained that trade is affected.

During a question-and-answer period of today’s weekly press briefing, FO Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch stated that Pakistan had been carrying out the 2020 Afghanistan and Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement “in good faith.”

“We have made it easier for our neighbour who is a landlocked country to trade with the rest of the world, and we will keep doing that,” she said.

She added that Pakistan’s main worry is that occasionally commodities intended for Afghanistan are sent back to Pakistan instead, and the appropriate customs fees and taxes are not paid.

“Our customs authorities are worried that people are violating the bilateral agreements that permit trade with Afghanistan,” Baloch continued.

The Torkham border point is the main point of transit for travellers and goods between Pakistan and landlocked Afghanistan.

Disputes linked to the 2,600 km (1,615 mile) border have been a bone of contention between the neighbours for decades.

Pakistan has been facing issues of its own, and recently saw its army chief vowing to uplift the economy through action on smuggling and tax evasion.

Source: Business Recorder