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Saturday March 02, 2024

Resuming Pak-Afghan trade: Issuance of three-month visa for truck drivers suggested

The chamber delegation apprised Afghan officials about the efforts being made by the chamber for re-opening of border

By Bureau report
January 23, 2024
In this picture, trucks are seen parked along a road and a parking area near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Torkham on September 11, 2023. — AFP
In this picture, trucks are seen parked along a road and a parking area near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Torkham on September 11, 2023. — AFP

PESHAWAR: A suggestion was made on Monday for issuing visas to truck drivers for three months to help resume Pak-Afghan trade.

The proposal was made at a meeting between Afghan Consul General in Peshawar, Hafiz Mohibullah Shakir, and a delegation of Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The delegation consisted of Zia-ul-Haq Sarhadi, coordinator, and Imtiaz Ahmad Ali, the director of the chamber, said a press release.

It is worth mentioning here that the Pak-Afghan trade has been suspended due to the closure of the border for the last more than one week over visa restriction from both the countries for truck drivers.

The participants of the meeting discussed the border situation and its impact on commerce and trade in the region. The Afghan consul general supported a suggestion of issuing special visas to truck drivers for a period of three months to end the deadlock over visa restriction.

He said within three months, both the countries should issue visas to drivers for smooth transportation of goods on both sides of the border. The chamber delegation apprised Afghan official about the efforts being made by the chamber for re-opening of border and meetings held with authorities in Pakistan.

They met Visa Section head, Molvi Muhammad Raza Rahmani, who apprised them that the Afghan Consulate was issuing visas to hundreds of Pakistanis on a daily basis. It merits a mention here that due to closure of border for the last more than 10 days, hundreds of goods laden trucks have been stuck at the Pak-Afghan border while around 90 trucks carrying perishable goods have returned back to Peshawar.