Stuck-up ATT containers need to be removed to avoid port congestion

KARACHI: It’s been around three weeks since the borders with Afghanistan were sealed stopping all movement across border whether it be cargo or public.  As the borders are likely to remain sealed for a longer period of time, the stuck up cargo needs to be removed to avoid port congestion.

Around 1000 containers are stuck up at Chaman border and similar number of containers are stuch at Torkham border, while 1285 Afghan Transit Trade (ATT) containers are at QICT, 1800 are stuck at KICT, 1500 containers at PICT and 500 ATT containers are stuck at South Asia Pakistan Terminal (SAPT).

Although this situation is causing a serious loss to the national economy, but this is nothing compared with the loss Indian supported elements in Afghanistan are inflicting on Pakistan.

There is a congestion like situation at the ports as well as borders touching Afghanistan at Chaman and Torkham. Pakistan is committed to root out terrorism from its land and Afghanistan being the proxy of Indian is the biggest sponsor of such activities aimed at destabilizing Pakistan.

However, the military leadership and political government are on the same page with one aim i.e. complete end to terrorism. Sources said there seems the borders would remain closed for a longer period of time.

In order to clear the port premises and enable smooth clearance of import and export consignments, these ATT containers stuck up at terminals need to be moved to warehouses while those containers stuck at borders should also be taken to safe places.

The sealing of borders with Afghanistan would also check influx of smuggled goods into the country. Lack of proper measures to control the incessant flow of smuggled items through the porous Durand Line from Afghanistan into Pakistan has caused huge loss to the public purse.

It is estimated that 70 percent of the total goods exported to Afghanistan under the Afghan Transit Trade (ATT) are smuggled back to Pakistan through various points.

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