KARACHI: The Director of Transit Trade has requested the FBR to take up the issue of temporary ban placed by authorities of Afghanistan on refrigerated containers of Chicken/Meat resulting in stuck up of containers on Pakistani side of border at Torkham.
The Director, Zeba Azhar in a letter addressed to Dr Saeed Khan Jadoon, Chief (F&C), FBR stated that Afghan authorities have placed a moratorium suddenly on transit of frozen chicken/meat/animal products from China and other countries in the wake of CoronaVirus. This has given rise to a “chockablock” of containers at Torkham border which is hampering clearance of other transit cargo also besides posing a risk of deterioration to perishable goods and exposing the containers to likelihood of theft and other mishap.
The Director also referred to a letter by Directorate General according to which hectic efforts have been made to resolve the issue but the same could not bear any fruit. The letter also refers to a communication by Director Peshawar for halting further clearance of frozen chicken and animal products at Karachi to avoid further choking at Torkham station.
Any such measure at Karachi Port and Port Muhammad Bin Qasim will not only lend to congestion at Ports but will also affect the smooth flow at these ports, letter by Director Ms Zeba Azhar stated further requesting the board to take up the matter of stuck up containers with Ministry of Commerce in Pakistan as early as possible with the request to liaise with relevant ministry of Afghanistan.
The matter has attained urgency as the containers stuck up at Torkham are increasing day by day and if clearance from Karachi was stopped, both the Karachi as well as Port Muhammad Bin Qasim will be choked by incoming consignments. So far more than 700 container are stuck up.
The Pakistani authorities need to have a clarification rather decision from their Afghan counterparts so that containers are stopped at delivery stage or in high seas to avoid choking of Pakistani ports.
Pakistani authorities also anticipate ban on other items by Afghanistan also due to fear of Coronavirus spread which may spell a disaster fro Pak Afghan Transit Trade.