LANDI KOTAL: Trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan via Torkham remained suspended for the fourth consecutive day on Sunday as customs clearing agents and transporters continued their protest strike.
Transporters said most of fresh fruits and vegetables loaded on their vehicles had started getting rotten as there was no arrangement for their storage at the Torkham border.
Sadeequllah, a truck driver, said that most of his colleagues had exhausted their travel allowances and now they were running short of money.
The president of the local customs clearing agents association, Zar Qeef Khan, said that his association had already presented its charter of demands to the authorities concerned and his colleagues were now waiting for a positive response from the authorities regarding resolution of their grievances.
The charter of demands, he said, included provision of speedy internet facility and uninterrupted power supply for the effective working of the newly introduced Web Based One Customs system for customs clearance, implementation of all those rules at Torkham which are also applied at Chaman and Kharlachi, exemption of all import and export goods from fumigation at the Zero Point and instruction for security and other agencies to refrain from taking a loaded vehicle into their custody for rechecking after they have been cleared by the customs authorities.
He called for making the customs clearing process more transparent.
Published in Dawn, November 19th, 2018