PESHAWAR - President of Frontier Customs Agents Group (FCAG) and former senior vice president of Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ziaul Haq Sarhadi on Sunday welcomed keeping Pak-Afghan Torkham Border open for 14 hours daily to improve bilateral trade.

He hoped that the move will play a vital role to boost mutual trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan. In a press statement issued here, Sarhadi said that in recent years, a declining trend in bilateral trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan was witnessed due to certain steps taken by both Islamabad and Kabul.

However, he said that this new decision by the government of Pakistan to keep operations at the Torkham from 600 Am to 800 PM (14 hours) daily from August 19, 2019. It would help achieving bilateral trade target between Pakistan and Afghanistan. He added the government step would also enhance export to Afghanistan and other regional countries.

Mr Sarhadi, who was also All Pakistan Customs Agents Association (APCAA) central vice president and former senior vice president of Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), asked the both Islamabad and Kabul to take measures to bring easiness in issuance of visa as well as other facilities to business community and exporters.

Furthermore, he said that the mutual trade volume between Pakistan and Afghanistan has declined at less than $ 1billion from $ 2.5 billion due to imposition of strict policies by both Islamabad and Kabul. Therefore, he urged the both countries to bring flexibility in their policies and make them business friendly in order to give boost trade with Afghanistan and Central Asian Republic countries and to take effective measures to facilitate business community on both side of the border.