Trade impacts Pakistan-Afghanistan

The recent week-long closure of the Torkham crossing has had a significant impact on the relation­ship between Pakistan and Afghan­istan, particularly in terms of their trade ties. This closure has not only disrupted trade but has also caused considerable hardship for individu­als seeking to cross the border.

The conflict began on September 6, when both sides engaged in hos­tilities. According to Pakistani au­thorities, the Afghans initiated the conflict by constructing an unau­thorised structure within Pakistani territory. When questioned about this, Afghan troops responded with gunfire. Despite efforts to re­solve the issue through diplomat­ic channels, the meeting between both sides’ authorities failed. Con­sequently, people wishing to cross the border found themselves stranded, with their vehicles halt­ed and entry denied.

This dispute has resulted in sig­nificant economic losses, amount­ing to hundreds of millions of dol­lars, particularly in perishable goods such as fruits and vegetables from Afghanistan. These commod­ities are unable to reach their in­tended markets and are wilting in the hot weather.

Taliban representatives have commented on Pakistan’s heavy reliance on exports due to its cur­rent situation, exacerbating the is­sue. It is essential for the Afghan Taliban to exercise caution when making such statements about Pakistan. Instead, they should fo­cus on resolving the dispute with Pakistan to improve relations be­tween the two nations. This would not only facilitate trade but also ensure ease of cross-border move­ment for individuals.

Pakistan’s aspirations for robust trade relationships with Central Asia can only be realised through cooperation with neighbouring Af­ghanistan. Both nations should pri­oritise resolving their differences and fostering a mutually beneficial partnership, ultimately leading to prosperous trade and greater ease for people crossing the border.



ePaper - Nawaiwaqt