Peshawar    -   Afghan authorities have agreed to permit 15,00 empty trucks and containers stranded for the last several months at the Afghan side of the Torkham Border.

The issue was discussed at a meeting between office-bearers of Pakistan customs and traders’ unions and Afghan customs and border police officials at the Afghanistan side of Torkham Border, said Vice-president of All Pakistan Customs Agents Association Zialul Haq Sarhadi while speaking to The Nation.

He said they held a meeting with Afghan customs and chambers of commerce officials in Afghanistan on the invitation of Afghan officials.

Ziaul Haq said they told the Afghan officials that each container stranded in Afghanistan had to pay 150 dollars per day as detention charges to the transportation company concerned, which was a huge loss for transporters. 

He said Afghan border police chief agreed that they would allow empty containers from 6pm to 12pm every night to facilitate them to return to Pakistan without any dely. Pakistani side was headed by Additional Director Transit Trade Muhammad Tayyab, Deputy Director Amanat Khan and accompanied by Additional Collector Pakistan Customs at Torkham Zakir Muhammad, Ziaul Haq Sarhadi, Khalid Shehzad and Zafarullah.

The Afghani side was headed by Nangarhar Customs Chief Nasrullah Sahibzada while he was accompanied by Roohullah Nazeri, Haji Zalmy and Rahim Rahimi.

Sarhadi said that they discussed various trade and transportation related issues being faced by transporters and traders from Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Quoting Afghan border officials, Zialul Haq Sarhadi said that Afghan traders and customs officials also requested Pakistani government to work jointly and facilitate Afghan businessmen as they wanted to increase their import from Pakistan in various items including fresh fruits, vegetables, construction materials and medicines.

Sarhadi said the measures of releasing empty containers would save money of the transporters from wasting and boost Pak-Afghan trade.