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PESHAWAR: The business community has urged the government to take pragmatic steps for a fully-equipped dry port in Peshawar and run a cargo train between Peshawar and Karachi in order to facilitate the exporters and boost the local economy.

Frontier Customs Agents Group, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chapter president Ziaul Haq Sarhadi made the demand in a statement issued here on Tuesday.

He said that the government should make operational the Azakhel Dry Port in order to shift the Goods-in-Transit to Afghanistan there to help overcome the problems being faced by the exporters and importers.

Mr Sarhadi said that the business community had raised these demands during a visit of the federal minister for railways Shaikh Rasheed Ahmed to the provincial capital, but the latter asked the private sector to play role for running the cargo train.

He said that the government was duty-bound to take immediate steps for running the freight train and make operational the dry port at the earliest because the business community was already facing many problems due to the prolonged terrorism.

The Peshawar dry port, he said had been established on emergency basis in 1986, and the then railways minister Nisar Mohammad Khan had assured to expand it as per the requirements, but despite passage of 32 years no step had been taken so far in that regard.

Mr Sarhadi, who is also chairman of the dry port and standing committees of the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the successive governments did not pay any heed to the problems of the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Published in Dawn, January 2nd, 2019

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