LANDI KOTAL: The prices of sacrificial animal have surged here ahead of Eidul Azha with dealers blaming it on the ban on their import from Afghanistan via Torkham border.

The livestock dealers told Dawn that they lacked sacrificial animals due to the import ban and higher demand ahead of the Eidul Azha.

Islam Yar said the sheep price had gone up from Rs5,000 to Rs8,000.

He said the livestock dealers were in contact with officials in Torkham and Landi Kotal areas to convince them for lifting the ban.

The animal seller said some dealers had started bringing sheep from Afghanistan’s Qandahar area first to Balochistan’s Quetta and then to Khyber district via the Indus Highway.

“This entire exercise consumes lots of time as the route is very long. Dealers have to bear additional cost for the sheep transportation,” he said.

Mr Yar said a number of sacrificial animals died on their way to Khyber from Afghanistan via the Chaman border, so dealers had to increase their prices.

“I fear that if the animal import ban is not lifted, we will not be able to meet the demand this Eid,” he said.

Dadin Khan, another livestock dealer, said he and others were willing to pay the duty or taxes sought by the government for the lifting of ban on the import of sacrificial animals from Afghanistan.

He said no specific reason was cited during the livestock dealers’ interaction with the government and security officials over the ban.

“The local market cannot cater to the demand of sacrificial animals for Eidul Azha and therefore, we need to import additional livestock from Afghanistan,” he said.

The dealer said most dealers regularly paid taxes and duty on animals imported from Afghanistan but even then, the import was banned suddenly badly affecting their business.

Published in Dawn, July 27th, 2019