LANDI KOTAL: Hundreds of trucks loaded with trade goods have got stranded at the Pakistan side of the Torkham border as Afghan authorities have refused them entry without route permit.
Sources said that the condition was set about three days back by the Afghan border authorities and since then nearly a thousand vehicles with Pakistani registration and carrying multiple merchandise to Afghanistan could not cross the border as they did not possess route permit for entry to Afghanistan.
Pakistani transporters at the border said that the Afghan government had imposed the restriction in response to a similar condition the Pakistani authorities had imposed for all Afghan drivers. They said the Afghan authorities had intimated to them the new rule for entry to their country a few months back but had to relax the rules for some time upon the request of Pakistani transporters.
Azeemullah Shinwari, a local transporter, said Pakistan embassy in Kabul and consulate in Jalalabad issued route permits to Afghan transporters for their unhindered entry to Pakistan via the Torkham border.
He demanded of the Pakistani authorities to negotiate the matter with their Afghan counterparts for giving them some time as majority of the Pakistani drivers operated between the two countries without having the required route permit.
Local officials at the border said they were in constant touch both with their own higher authorities and the Afghan officials for an early resolution to the problem.
Published in Dawn, February 4th, 2020