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Ghani bans Pakistani trucks from entering Afghanistan

KABUL (INP): Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has issued a decree banning Pakistani trucks from crossing into the country which means Afghan trucking companies could get more work.

The Transport Ministry said the trucks will only be allowed up to the border crossing. According to the ministry, Pakistani trucks will have to offload their goods and transfer them to Afghan trucks.

Pakistani trucks have until now crossed into Afghanistan at Torkham and Spin Boldak borders and many transport their goods on through the borders into other Central Asian countries.

“The Afghanistan and Pakistan Trade Agreement (APTA) has expired. Before this Pakistan did now allow Afghan trucks to enter its territory. So we do the same and after this Pakistani trucks will be unloaded at borders and Afghan trucks will carry the goods to Hairatan and Shir Khan ports,” transport ministry spokesman Hekmatullah Qawanch said.

“By this move lots of people will get job opportunities and the transit companies will also get work. Currently there is no work for transit companies and the drivers are at home,” a director of a transport company Abdul Ghafoor Norzai said.

“Pakistani trucks go to every part of our country, but our trucks are not allowed to enter Pakistan. We want government to do the same to Pakistan and also help us to be allowed to enter neighboring countries,” Abdul Rauf, the head of a transport company said.

The ministry also said they will sign transit agreements with Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan soon and based on the new agreements, Afghan trucks will be allowed to enter the three countries.