KARACHI: Scores of trailers carrying Afghan Transit Trade (ATT) containers have stood up at Sohrab in Balochistan, as a group of tribal miscreants has blocked the road to Chaman border.

These tribal miscreants have formed a so called welfare association for transporters with the main objective to mint money out of the transporters.

The All Pakistan Goods Transport Welfare Association has no transporter or trailer driver as their members, a bonded carrier said adding that their only purpose was to fix their extortion out of the earnings of transporters and bonded carriers.

It was known that the same people used to receive extortion to the tune of Rs20,000 on every consignment of transit cargo meant for NATO/ISAF and US Army in Afghanistan. Since the transit cargo for occupying forces in Afghanistan is ended, these elements have formed an association so that their lines of funding do not get choked.

The Association has quite recently circulated a notice on their letterhead to the effect that transportation fares have been increased advising the transporters not to take contracts below the rates mentioned by them, and warned the transporters and bonded carrier to ‘cooperate’ with them otherwise action would be taken against them.

A leading bonded carrier said this association had nothing to do with the transporters, but they were hooligans and wanted to extort them.

The bonded carriers would be meeting Inspector General Frontier Constabulary so that the issue could be resolved as this is the third time that the movement of transit cargo has forcibly been stopped.

Moreover, Customs authorities would talk to Home Minister of Balochistan so that the issue could be resolved for good.

The clearing agents have decided to stop the clearance of transit cargo unless the route is cleared.

A leading bonded carrier said around 200 containers were stranded at Sohrab in Balochistan and added that it was the responsibility of government to provide safe route to the destination.