Peshawar - Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged authorities concerned to remove hurdles in the trade and allow the empty containers in Afghanistan to cross the border into Pakistan.

A 22-member delegation from Afghanistan met with Pakistani counterparts at the zero point in Torkham to discuss bilateral trade the other day, said Zia-ul-Haq Sarhadi, former vice-president of Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The Afghan delegation included Afghan Security Officer Abdul Basir, Additional Collector Customs Roohullah Naziri, Commercial Attache of Afghan Consulate in Peshawar Fawad Arsh, Deputy Attache Dr Hamidullah, Naeem Safi and others. 

The Pakistani team included Additional Director Transit Trade Muhammad Tayyeb, Deputy Director Amanat Khan, Additional Collector Customs Appraisement Muhammad Zakir, Additional Collector Customs Preventive Fawad Chaudhry, Commandant FC Kardil and Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber Senior Vice-President Khalid Shahzad, former Vice-President Zia-ul-Haq Sarhadi and others.

The meeting was further informed that around 4,000 empty containers of the Afghan transit trade had been parked on the Afghanistan for the last several days, causing the payment of 150 dollars’ detention charges on a daily basis. 

It was decided to let those containers get clearance from Pakistan between 10pm till 6am in the morning, for onwards movement to Karachi.

Similarly, they said the Afghan imports including vegetables, fruit, etc would arrive in Pakistan between 6am and 10pm daily.

Zia-ul-Haq Sarhadi, who is also president of Frontier Customs Agents Association, said that there was a joint check-post on Pakistani side at the border where items and goods were checked. He asked Afghan counterparts to set up a similar joint check-post on Afghan side so that smuggling and other crimes could be prevented in the trade and the process was expedited.