Khyber    -    A high-level meeting of the Border Management Committee chaired by Additional Collector Custom Muhammad Tayyab was held here in Custom House, Torkham the other day.

The meeting was attended by the officials of the National Logistic Cell (NLC), Federal Investigative Agency, Frontier Corp Police, administrative officials and representatives of trading unions. The Afghan delegation led by border security in-charge Maulvi Khalid represented their country in the meeting.

The Pakistani officials demanded of their Afghan counterpart to abolish heavy duty on export of coil as the former eliminated duty on import of tomato and onion from Afghanistan. The Afghan delegation assured that their demand will be conveyed to the Ministry of Trade, Afghanistan for consideration and efforts will be made to facilitate and ease coal export to Pakistan.

In their demands, the Afghan officials asked the Pakistan delegation to deploy extra-custom officials and expedite the fruits and vegetables clearing process at the Torkham crossing as long queues of trucks across the border loaded with perishable items waiting for days to cross suffer the exporters.

Tayyab promised that fresh fruits and vegetables will be cleared on a priority basis. However, the Pak officials expressed reservation and said that some elements on the pretext of Afghan fruits and vegetables, import perishable items from other countries and inflict loss to the national exchequer therefore, keeping Afghan custom certificate and GD have been made compulsory for the importers.

The Afghan delegation thanked the border management team for increasing the vehicle movement at the border from 500 trucks to 1,200 trucks per day which will certainly have a positive effect on Pak-Afghan trade.

With the collective efforts of the Pak-Afghan Border Management System, a target of movement of 2,000 trucks per day will be achieved in near future, the additional collector said.

Officials of both neighbouring countries agreed to halt the smuggling of prohibited items including fertilizer, and sugar to Afghanistan and to discourage child labour at the border.

The Pak delegation urged the Afghan officials to stop human trafficking from across the border as the former has provided a facility to Afghan patients willing to come to Pakistan for treatment and not to the general Afghan masses.