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Customs Wagha clears first consignment of commercial goods from Afghanistan

Customs Wagha clears first consignment of commercial goods from Afghanistan

LAHORE: Pakistan Customs team deputed at Wagha border on Friday cleared first consignment of commercial goods from Afghanistan that reached Wagah border, under the Afghan-India Transit Trade Agreement, to be sent to India on Saturday.  Three trucks of dried fruits and two trucks of Rattan jute, Malthi and other spices reached the Wagah border. The trucks were cleared by the Pakistani authorities.

According to sources, five trucks of commercial goods are parked at the Wagah border terminal. A local exporter in Lahore said many deals between Afghanistan and Indian traders have been cancelled due to inclement weather and uncertainty of Afghan-India trade.

Pakistan reopened the Pak-India trade gate on July 15 which was previously closed due to the novel coronavirus.  According to a statement issued by the Foreign Office on Monday, this measure was taken under the Pakistan-Afghanistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA), and at the request of the Afghanistan government.  “Pakistan remains fully committed to further strengthening its bilateral relations with Afghanistan in all areas including trade, and to facilitate Afghanistan’s transit trade under APTTA,” read the statement.

Pakistan in May announced the opening of Pak-Afghan border at Torkham and Chaman round the clock for six days a week. It was closed on March 27 as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of Covid-19.  However, Afghan exports to India through the Wagah border had remained suspended.

Last month, Afghan traders claimed restrictions on import of fresh fruits and vegetables by Pakistan were causing them huge losses.