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Traders threat to stop Afghanistan trade if Torkham border not opened

Traders threat to stop Afghanistan trade if Torkham border not opened

PESHAWAR: The traders dealing in import and export of fruits and vegetables have threatened to stop bilateral trade with Afghanistan and lock the fruit markets in the country if government fails to reopen Torkham border within 24 hours.

Addressing a news conference at Peshawar Press Club, All Pakistan Agricultural Produce Traders Federation president Malik Sohni expressed concerns over the hurdles allegedly created by officials of Customs department at Torkham border.

He said that since formation of PTI government, Customs officials at Torkham border had started creating hurdles to consignment of export and import of vegetables and fruits between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Flanked by other office-bearers of the federation including Pir Ali Marjan, Haji Mohammad Shafiq, Haji Ibrahim, Ilyas Khan and Muhtaram Gul, Mr Sohni said that on one hand the government was trying to strengthen diplomatic ties with Afghanistan but on the other officials at Torkham were creating problems for the exporters and importers.

“We are unable to understand as to why all of a sudden Customs officials at Torkham changed their behaviour as it is their discretion to stop or allow the export and import of fruits and vegetables.

The traders have not experienced such difficulties in the past,” he said.

Mr Sohni said that the traders were following government policies and paying billions of taxes but they were ready to stop trade with Afghanistan if it was official policy. However, he said that stopping loaded trucks at the border without any reason was not acceptable to them.