PESHAWAR: The traders on Saturday asked the Afghanistan border authorities to allow 2,000 empty trucks to enter Pakistan.
In a press release issued to the media, Director Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI) Ziaul Haq Sarhadi said that the Afghanistan border authorities had stopped the empty trucks and containers of exporters at the Khwar Maidan area.
Sarhadi, who is also the president of the Frontier Customs Agents Group, said that a container must be returned from Afghanistan in 14 days after this period the exporters were bound to pay extra charges.
He said the delay in return of the truck and containers were causing huge financial losses to the exporters and traders.
“The rent of a ‘bounded’ container from the port city of Karachi in Sindh to Jalalabad city of Afghanistan is Rs200,000 to Rs250,000 but due to delay in its return, the cost goes up to Rs350,000,” he said, and termed it unjust.
He said the move was also causing shortage of trucks and containers in the country and resulted in increase of fares as well.
“The Afghan border authorities demanded up to Rs15,000 bribes from a truck driver to allow them to cross into Pakistan,” the release quoting Sarhadi as saying.
The trader said that the Afghan authorities used the pretext that the trucks and containers were stopped to allow the trucks loaded with fresh Afghan fruits, coal and other items to cross into Pakistan.
He also demanded to do away with the condition that only bounded containers were allowed to take trade goods to Afghanistan and allow loose-loaded cargo to be included in the Pak-Afghan trade agreement.