Pak-Afghan transit trade treaty suffers business: Zahid Shinwari

Ahmad Nabi

LANDI KOTAL: Extra restrictions, imposed by Pakistan on Afghan businessmen have been not suffered bilateral trade ties of the two neighboring countries but also compelled the Afghan importers to seek other alternative markets to meet their needs.

For sustainable peace in the ex-FATA districts, economic improvement is necessary. This was said by the Ex- President Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and chairman FBR tax committee to Afghanistan Zahidullah Shinwari while expressing his views in meet the press program held in Landi Kotal press club.

He said that on dictation of America, a trade agreement was signed in 2010 between Pakistan and Afghanistan without consultation of stake holders that badly affect the both countries trade.

As per the truce, he maintained five expensive and time consuming securities were set for the Afghan traders who used to import through transit trade via Pakistan that disheartened Afghan traders and they sought other alternative roots and in protest the Afghan businessmen ignored Pak commodities and started importing goods from other countries.

That was the reason that Pakistan who was top of list of importers for Afghanistan slipped to 3rd number similarly Afghanistan that was 3rd big exporter country for Pakistan after America and European Union downed to 5th number, he added.

“Ironically Pak trade with neighboring countries is fixed by political ties and therefore when political relations are cordial, business with the countries boost and vice-versa”, Shinwari opined.

If the government was sincere to flourish trade activities in KP and elsewhere in the country, it should give up all unnecessary restrictions and granted free trade country status to Afghanistan, he remarked.

He expressed his dissatisfaction over the prevailed poor economic condition in tribal districts and said huge unemployment led the youth community to anti-social activates so the incumbent government needed to launch a massive economic improvement scheme at gross root level to rise life standard of the residents of the area.

He added that although ex-FATA was neglected in China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) however a mega project under the name of Khyber Pass Economic Corridor with financial assistance of World Bank was under consideration to be established in tribal belt that would bring positive change in the area.