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September 25, 2019

Operational issues of Pak-Afghan trade via train discussed

National

September 25, 2019

PESHAWAR: The Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) and officials of Pakistan Railways have agreed to finalise modalities for strengthening the Pak-Afghan trade. The agreement came at a meeting on transit trade, chaired by Director, Transit Trade, Faiz Ali, at the Directorate of Transit Trade Custom House Peshawar here on Tuesday.

The meeting discussed operational issues of the Pak-Afghan Transit trade through Pakistan Railways. SCCI President Faiz Mohammad Faizi, Chairman SCCI standing committee on Railway and Dry-port, Ziaul Haq Sarhadi, Divisional Superintendent Pakistan Railways Peshawar, M Nasir Khalili, Divisional Superintendent Officer, Anwar Sadab, ATO/ACO PR Saba Jabeen, Additional Director Transit Trade, Syed Faisal Bokhari, Additional Director Transit Trade Jan Bahadur, Assistant Director M Zahid, Inspector Transit for Torkham, Mehmoodul Hassan, members of the liaison committee transit Farooq Ahmad were present.

The meeting discussed the proposed transit trade operation through Pakistan Railways from Karachi to Peshawar and onward dispatch to Torkham for cross-border shifting. The Pakistan Railways officers assured that modalities for the proposed transit trade operation would be finalised by October 15 after holding a meeting with SCCI representatives and other relevant stakeholders to be held in Divisional Headquarter Pakistan Railways Peshawar on October 7.

Earlier, President of Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Faiz Muhammad Faizi and Chairman SCCI standing committee on PR and Dry-port Ziaul Haq Sarhadi stressed the need for enhancing Pak-Afghan transit trade as well as mutual trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

They urged the government to take such measures which will provide the cheap, secure and trustful goods transportation facility. Faizi demanded the Afghan Transit Trade Agreement (ATTA) should be reviewed and amended to make it business-friendly.

The SCCI representatives urged the government and the Federal Board of Revenue to amend the SRO 121 (1) and allow open transportation of goods along with containers that will abolish the detention charges and exporters/importers will get facilities.

Sarhadi suggested the re-launch of cargo train from Karachi to Peshawar and Goods in Transit to Afghanistan to revive transit route that was shifted to Bandar Abbas and Chahabar ports of Iran. Sarhadi demanded the government to review the Afghan Transit Trade Agreement and devise it after consulting members of the business community.