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Editorial: Trade with loss, deficit

16 Jan 2019 Afghanistan Times

At once bilateral trade between Afghanistan and Pakistan was

on rise and even it was registered above five billion US dollars in 2005-2006.

But since that the legal trade between the two neighboring countries is on

decline due to deteriorating relations. Afghanistan is a landlocked country,

therefore, its most of foreign trade was depending on Pakistan’s land and sea

routes. But due to deteriorating relations and deadly terrorist attacks on

goods trucks, Afghanistan explored other routes for its transit and foreign

trade. Till end of 2012 around 30 percent transit trade was diverted from

Karachi Pakistan to Bandar Abbass Iran and other Central Asian Republics. But

in previous couple of years, relations further worsened and even Pakistan went

on imposition of one side restrictions on the pretext of crossing point

security management but even it enhance more restrictions on bilateral trade

with Afghanistan. As a result trade between the two neighboring countries went

imbalance. Afghanistan is known for quality production of fresh fruits and

vegetables and for precious deposits of mineral resources. And Pakistan has

adopted a unique policy for exploiting or getting maximum benefits of

Afghanistan’s agriculture production and mineral resources. Compare to perishable

items like grapes, melons, apples and others, there are minimum restrictions on

mineral resources. In previous December million of US dollars worth apples got

rotten due to negative impacts of Pakistan’s one sided restrictions on

bilateral trade with Afghanistan. All these apples were loaded on trucks and

trollers who were denied clearance and onward proceeding at Torkham. But

compare to that one  is surprises to see hundreds of trucks loaded with

mineral resources like stones (called Show Kanray), coals, Marble stones

(rocks) and others are being poured in Khyber, North Waziristan and other parts

of the country from Afghanistan. Almost of these mineral resources are being

unearthed from the areas controlled by Taliban militants. And deteriorating law

and order situation is always in interests of these smugglers and traders. The

ongoing turmoil in Afghanistan, especially in the areas along with borders is

seems beneficial for smugglers and traders and Pakistan as well. Unfortunately

from last four decades, Afghanistan and its people are ahead with imported

violence, militancy and terror. Now along with discussing ways and means for

return of peace and normalcy, Afghan and Pakistan leaders and public opinion

makers must keep in mind their responsibilities of safeguarding economic

interests.

Original Link: http://www.afghanistantimes.af/editorial-trade-with-loss-deficit/

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