Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani has intimidated to shut the Afghan Transit Route to Central Asia for Pakistani exports if Pakistan would not allow them to use Wagha border (LAHORE) for their trade with India directly.
President Ashraf Ghani urged in a meeting with UK’s special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Owen Jenkins in Kabul that if Pakistan does not allow our homeland for trade of good services with India directly, we will also not allow Pakistan to use Afghan transportation route to reach Central Asia and other countries for exports,”
“Afghanistan is no more a interior country as it has many transit routes for the import and export of goods,” Ghani further added.
Pakistan’s decision to introduce a new instrument at its Torkham border that requires every Afghan to carry passport and visa for crossing the border has created amid tension between the two uneasy neighboring countries.
It was addressed with the fact that Afghanistan was making efforts to boost economic cooperation in the region and wanted Pakistan and other regional countries to remove all technical problems that create obstacles in economic cooperation.
When contacted, a Foreign Office official refused to comment on Ghani’s statement, saying a response will be given after due consultations as , Pakistan is unwilling to grant such permission in view of the state of its relations with New Delhi.
Ghani demands the use of Pakistan’s land route to deliver goods at the Indian border town of Attari via Wagha
Afghan sources insist that Afghan goods, mostly fresh fruits go up to Wagha but then it is not allowed to goup to Attari. Where these goods are offloaded in Wagha and then carried in carts up to Attari and loaded on again. This adds to transportation cost as well as to a significant spoilage
“We have asked that our goods mostly fresh fruit be allowed to go up to Attari and then transferred to Indian trucks in a back to back arrangement. This alone can reduce cost and spoilage to an extent that will make our export of fruit to India double or triple,” Afghan spokesperson said.
Ghani also obliquely accused Pakistan of sponsoring terrorism, saying the recently organised and well-coordinated terrorist attacks showed that the terrorists receive aid from outside.
“We will use diplomatic channels to stop all efforts to destabilize Afghanistan through terrorist groups. I want our message should be conveyed to Pakistan,” the Afghan Head was quoted as saying.
On his part the British envoy said his country will support the Afghan-led intra-Afghan dialogue and will keep on efforts along with the regional countries.