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PESHAWAR: The business community has expressed concern over the decreasing trade volume between Pakistan and Afghanistan and blamed bureaucracy of both the countries responsible for the pathetic situation of economy in the region.

In a statement issued here on Saturday, Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry Director Ziaul Haq Sarhadi said the trade volume between Pakistan and Afghanistan had decreased from $2.5 billion to $5million only. He said business community of both the countries wanted the trade volume to increase to $5 billion.

Mr Sarhadi feared that if both the countries did not review the 2010 Pak-Afghan Transit Trade Agreement (PATTA) to remove the hurdles in bilateral trade the business situation would further worsen and its ultimate sufferer would be Pakistan as Afghanistan had already improved trade relations with both India and Iran.

The PATTA, he said had been signed under pressure which was already sabotaged in the prevailing uncertain regional situation.

Mr Sarhadi said several meetings between officials of Pakistan and Afghanistan had been held in the recent past but they failed to yield any positive results.

Published in Dawn, July 22nd, 2018