Nasib Shah Shinwari
LANDIKOTAL: Linking peace with economically stable and prosperous Pakistan, FATA, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and its people, the member of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the president of Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industries (SCCI) has urged the government of Pakistan to constitute such trade policies that could restore trade ties between two Muslim neighbour countries.
The president of SCCI, Zahid Ullah Shinwari during an exclusive interview with FATA voice said that unluckily the trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan has fallen to a very lower level in recent years which was suffering the economy of both countries and people.
He said that due to the wrong trade policies of the government, the trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan fall to 1.5 billion US dollars which was 2.50 billion dollars in past.
He said that trade collapse between Pak and Afghan was still continued and during the June 2017, it has fallen to 900 billion USD only.
In recent days, a government official has unveiled that trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan has collapsed to only 500 billion USD. Shinwari stated.
He said that Afghanistan was the third big country for Pakistani export products and now India and Iran have occupied the market of Pakistani export products which would further put a very negative impact on the Pakistani economy including its people.
Shinwari said that Pak Afghan trade suffered further when government authorities implemented regulatory tax and introduced condition of Quarantine certificate for Afghanistan import goods.
He said the office of relevant department issuing the certificate of food at Torkham border was not established yet and the customs clearance agents were facing difficulties to obtain that certificate which certifies the import of various goods to Pakistan.
He said the downfall of trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan has suffered the people of FATA and Khyber Pakhunkwah in large because all these people were depending on the trade with Afghanistan which has decreased now to a very lower amount.
Although infrastructure is essential to enhance trade between people and countries but such trade policies and laws should be constituted and implemented to improve trade between them. Shinwari clarified adding that due to the recent regulatory duty and quarantine certificate issue, the trade between Pak and Afghanistan was suffered more which also affected the daily business of common people at Paki-Afghan border Torkham.
He said the demand of Afghanistan to make India a partner in Pak-Afghan transit trade agreement was not justified
He said that Pak-Afghan transit trade agreement has ended in 2016 which needs to be renewed and revised for excellent bilateral trade in future.
Replying to a question by this scribe he said that authorities at trade and commerce ministry have promised they would soon resolve the guarantee certificate issues of Custom clearance agents at Pak-Afghan border Torkham.
He said that a deadlock was still present between Pakistan and Afghanistan on trade agreements and relations which should be removed and negotiations should be recommenced to discuss the issues pertaining to bilateral trade.
He urged the authorities not to create hurdles to further decline trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan adding that further decrease and end in trade between Pak and Afghanistan was meant to snatch bread from the people of FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.