PARACHINAR: A large number of trucks loaded with dry fruits and vegetables imported from Afghanistan via Kharlachi and Burki border crossings in Kurram Agency are not being given customs clearance for not having plant protection certificate issued by the federal government.
According to Kurram Trade Union President Masaib Hussain, said that the federal ministry of national food security and research had asked the authorities to halt clearance of all food items imported from Afghanistan till production of necessary documents by importers.
They said that the condition of production of necessary documents was imposed all of a sudden and without any prior notice to them.
“Many trucks loaded with fruit items are now stranded on the other side of the border due to non-issuance of quality plant protection certificate by the food authorities,” said the traders.
Masaib Hussain said that they had halted further imports of food items from Afghanistan as they were already confronted with financial losses.
He said that all the traders concerned were tight-lipped about the motives behind imposition of new conditions as they were never asked to acquire any quality certificate in the past. He said that such certificates were issued only at Karachi port and the food ministry had no other office in any part of the country for the purpose.