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Pak-India trade trough Attari-Wagah border most likely to be resumed

Pak-India trade trough Attari-Wagah border most likely to be resumed

LAHORE: The trade between India and Afghanistan through Attari-Wagah border is most likely to be restarted after Eid-ul-Fitr holidays (from May 25 to 27) in Pakistan, sources said.

“We have already got a letter from the Centre, instructing us to be prepared as the trade between the two countries will be started soon,” the sources said.

The Indian government had suspended cross-border trade through the Attari integrated check-post (ICP), which facilitates India’s trade with Pakistan and Afghanistan, on March 13 as a precautionary measure amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are expecting that the trade with Afghanistan will be resumed from May 28. We recently got information that two trucks of dried fruits, imported from Afghanistan, will come today at Wagah side in Pakistan.  These trucks’ entry into India will be allowed only after we get official information from the Centre about the opening of the trade,” the sources added.

An official said, “The trade can resume after Eid as there are holidays in Pakistan till May 27, and nobody is working at Wagah side.  Till now, we have no official information when exactly the border is opening.”

On May 17, the Pakistan government had opened its borders with Afghanistan at Torkham and Chaman posts, six days per week. The importers in Amritsar are also hopeful of resumption of trade with Afghanistan soon.

In the wake of the Pulwama attack in February 2019, the Indian government had revoked the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status given to Pakistan and raised Customs Duty on every item being imported from Pakistan to 200%.

Following this, import from Pakistan dipped drastically as Indian traders stopped buying goods, except low-priced commodities like rock salt.

Also, Pakistani had shut trade with India after India abrogated Article 370 that granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.