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Pakistan fears Afghanistan may block transit route to Central Asia

Afghan-Pakistan-transit-1401186344-498x279KABUL: Officials in Islamabad are concerned regarding the possible blocking of the transit route to Central Asia and Europe by the Afghan government, it has been reported.

The concerns have been shared by the authorities in Islamabad amid deteriorating diplomatic ties between the two neighbors.

Sources within the Pakistani government have said the step could be taken due to the Convention on the Contract for International Carriage of Goods by Road (CMR) not accepted by the two countries so far.

The sources quoted by the local media have further added that Pakistan is  a signatory of the ECO Transit Transport Framework Agreement (TTFA) and even by accepting the CMR convention in the absence of Afghanistan would prevent the country to use the Afghan route to to member states of the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) and European countries.

According to the reports, China has already intervened so that an agreement is signed to resolve the issue but the sources are saying that Afghanistan was hesitant and demanded inclusion of India in the agreement.

In the meantime, the sources saying that the authorities in Pakistan are demanding immediate steps to resolve the issue amid a steady drop in the exports of the country.

According to the reports, the exports of Pakistan have dipped around $4 billion and the officials are attempting to explore more markets in the Central Asia and Russia to boost the exports. -KP

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