Afghanistan loses millions

KABUL (Agencies): Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) says the closure of Torkham crossing into Pakistan has cost the economy millions of afghanis (AFN) over the past three days.

The closure of the border came at a crucial time specifically for exporters of fresh produce, especially fruit. The ACCI said the longer the trucks sit at the closed crossing the more produce perishes. “This is not the first time that we are treated like this at the border. We request the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan to find a solution to this issue,” said Khanjan Alkozi, a member of the ACCI.

“When a political and security issue arises, a way should be found for the people and the trucks to pass with safety and security, which has not been done so far,” he added. “Our request to the government is that they should provide an alternative crossing border for farmers and traders instead of Pakistan,” said Mirwais Hajizadeh, deputy director of the Chamber of Agriculture and Livestock.

In the meantime, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MoIC) says efforts are underway to solve the problems that have arisen and they are trying to resolve the issue in such a way that security and political challenges do not create problems in the process of trade and commerce.

“It has been three days that the Torkham crossing has been closed for trade; the Islamic Emirate in general and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce in particular have been following up on the matter separately and are in talks and negotiations with Pakistani authorities to resolve the problem as soon as possible,” said Abdul Salam Jawad Akhundzada, a spokesman for MoIC Torkham crossing was closed after Afghan and Pakistan border guards clashed on Wednesday. Pakistan then moved to close the crossing.