KARACHI: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Monday issued a decree banning Pakistani trucks from entering the country via the Torkham and Spin Boldak border crossings, Dawn.com reported.

The Afghan transport ministry confirmed the move on Sunday, saying that trucks would only be allowed up to the border crossings from where the goods would be offloaded and transferred to Afghan trucks, read the report quoting ToloNews.

“The Afghanistan and Pakistan Trade Agreement has expired. Earlier, Pakistan did not allow Afghan trucks to enter its territory and so we [will] do the same. From now on, Pakistani trucks will be unloaded at the borders and Afghan trucks will carry the goods to Hairatan and Shir Khan ports,” said the transport ministry spokesman, Hekmatullah Qawanch.

It is believed that the decree will provide a greater number of jobs for drivers and transit companies.

“Currently there is no work for transit companies and the drivers are at home,” said director of a transport company, Abdul Ghafoor Norzai.

“Pakistani trucks go to every part of our country, but our trucks are not allowed to enter Pakistan. We want the government to do the same and also help us enter the neighbouring countries,” said Abdul Rauf, head of a transport company.

The Afghan transport ministry said Kabul would sign transit agreements with Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan soon, on the basis of which Afghan trucks would be allowed to enter the three countries, the report added.

Published in Dawn, October 24th, 2017