KABUL (TOLONews): Afghanistan’s Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI) Thursday said it has sent an official request to Pakistan in order to hold the seventh Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Issue Contract Agreement (APTICA) meeting and is still awaiting their response.
The MoCI sent a draft of the amended agreement a year ago but is waiting to hear back from Islamabad over the hoped-for meeting, the Afghan media reported. According to the MoCI, the meeting would be attended by representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries, and discussions will be held on violations in trade and transit between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The ministry said the meeting would also look at unilateral decisions taken by Pakistan to close the crossings between the two countries. “We have sent our suggestion through diplomatic channels to Pakistan in order to hold the seventh meeting of APTICA. We are waiting for Pakistan’s response about attending the meeting,” the MoCI spokesman Musafir Qoqandi said.
Meanwhile, a number of economic affairs analysts and businessmen said government has not paid enough attention to the transit and trade problems between Afghanistan and Pakistan. “The APTICA meeting has not been held yet but we hope that the amendments are ready and that the meeting is held in Kabul because this time it is Kabul’s turn to host the event and overcome the problems in this respect,” said Khanjan Alokozay, deputy head of Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries. “Businessmen have suffered heavy financial losses. Our question is why is the commerce ministry silent? We have not witnessed any attempt by the commerce ministry to resolve problems,” said Ahmad Shah Sadat, a local businessman.