Kabul – Torkham and Spin Boldak crossings into Pakistan have been closed for nearly a month and according to Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), this has resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of AFs to local businessmen. According to the ACCI, dozens of trucks, loaded with goods, especially dried and fresh fruits and cotton, have been stuck at the Torkham and Spin Boldak crossings for weeks.
“Now we have no trust in promises made by Afghanistan and Pakistan governments. Because they have repeatedly said they will address these problems, but they don’t. Now if these crossings are opened, traders are sure that Pakistan will again close them by making different excuses,” ACCI spokesman Seyam Pesarlay said.
Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI) officials meanwhile said if Pakistan does not open the crossings for Afghan goods, Afghanistan will in turn stop Pakistan goods from coming in to Afghanistan. The head of the transit department at MoCI, Sayyed Yahya Akhlaqi, said Pakistan always creates problems for Afghanistan’s goods while Pakistani products are being imported to Afghanistan and Central Asia without any problem. “If Pakistan does not open Torkham and Spin Boldak crossings, we also will not let Pakistan goods enter into Afghanistan,” said Yahya. Before this a number of traders expressed their concerns about the problems regarding the export of Afghanistan’s goods through Pakistan and urged government to resolve the issue once and for all. They said if government cannot resolve these problems, then Pakistan goods should be stopped from entering Afghanistan or from being transported through Afghanistan to other central Asian countries.