Concerns expressed over transit trade halt
PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) business community has raised alarms over large number of Afghan transit trade goods containers being held at Karachi port under the pretext of scanning, which was slowing the trade down. A statement said Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in a emergent meeting held under the chair of its president Maqsood Anwar Pervaiz, urged the government to ease the clearance process for smooth running of Pak-Afghan transit. SCCI Senior Vice President Shahid Hussain, Vice President Abdul Jalil Jan, former senior vice president, Ziaul Haq Sarhadi, Abdul Majeed Gorwara, Tufail Gorwara,, Faroqq, Shakeel Khan, Afaq, and others were also in attendance. The meeting was informed that nearly 7,000 Afghan transit goods containers were being held under for scanning process at Karachi port, and the traders and exporters were being charged in the name of detention charges under prevailing situation, which was completely unjust and unfair with them. Similarly, the participants said the shipping companies were also charging additional demurrage in shape of rent from traders and exporters. They added there was no justification of carrying out scanning of Afghan transit trade goods trucks/containers at Karachi port and asked the authorities concerned to immediately stop this practice in order to accelerate the export process, besides to give boost to Pak-Afghan transit trade business and bilateral trade. The meeting demanded of the government to keep open Pak-Afghan Torkham border for entire week because only 100 goods containers/vehicles couls be able to cross the border in five days. The meeting noted the Pak-Afghan transit and bilateral trade was already very low, while the policies and procedures would further decline the trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The chamber asked the government to take measures to facilitate business community and relax policies to further strengthen the mutual trade between the two neighbouring countries.