PESHAWAR : Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed on a pilot run of Afghan trucks from Torkham and Chaman border crossings to Wagah — a longstanding demand of Kabul to boost trade with India.
The decision came at the 6th meeting of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Coordination Authority (APTTCA) in Islamabad on Wednesday, a senior official told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Deputy Minister of Ministry of Commerce and Industries Mozammil Shinwari and Pakistan’s Commerce Secretary Muhammad Shehzad Arbab jointly chaired the two-day meeting.
Presidents of the APJCCI Khan Jan Alokozai and Zubair Motiwala represented their respective teams at the meeting, which allowed the trial run of trucks carrying Afghan exports to India.
By the same token, one participant said, Kabul agreed to allow Pakistani trucks from Torkham and Chaman to Sher Khan Port near the Afghanistan-Tajikistan border.
On their return journey, Afghan trucks will be allowed to carry Pakistani exports to the landlocked country. Pakistani vehicles will carry Tajik and Central Asian export cargo on their return journey.
For the movement of trucks, Afghanistan suggested finalizing a bilateral transport agreement. Pakistan agreed to provide the draft agreement through diplomatic channels within a month.
The draft accord will be discussed at the 7th APTTCA meeting to be hosted by Afghanistan in the last week of March. A joint committee will be set up to discuss issues like visas and road permits.
Recommendations of the committee will be sent to the focal points of the APTTCA for consideration. The first meeting of the committee will be held in the second week of March in Karachi.
The neighbours also decided to review the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) in light of the convention on the International Transport of Goods (TIR) to make the accord more appropriate
Pakistani will consider Afghanistan’s proposal to waive off guarantee requirements for items not prone to diversion and to abolish the current negative list for Afghan transit trade.
It was agreed the provisions of the present agreement would be revised and amended appropriately with a view to further facilitating the transit trade. The two sides agreed in principle that the provisions of TIR Convention will be adopted in APTTA. -(Pajhwok)