PESHAWAR: Fruit, vegetable exporters have demanded of the government to materialise its decision about opening of Torkham border for six days a week to ensure timely transportation of the perishable goods so they do not suffer financial losses.

Talking to mediapersons at the Peshawar Press Club on Friday, All Pakistan Agricultural Produce Traders Federation (APAPTF) leader Sohni Malik Mohammad Ali lauded the move to open the border for six days a week, saying it would help boost bilateral trade.

However, he said while the vehicles of Afghan Transit Trade were allowed to cross the border, the local exporters and importers were still facing problems as many vehicles loaded with fruits and vegetable were not allowed to move ahead.

He demanded of the government to remove hurdles in clearance of goods containers and allow export of fruits and vegetables to save them from suffering losses worth millions of rupees.

Mr Ali said the trucks loaded with perishable items were stuck at the border despite the fact that all the relevant departments had cleared them to proceed.

“The government should either open the border or shut it permanently so we will not face financial losses,” he said.

He said the businessmen would hold a meeting after Eidul Fitr to decide future line of action. He said if government did not ensure opening of the border as per its announcement the traders would stop sending the goods to Afghanistan.

Besides, he said the government had announced relief packages for different sectors but local business community was ignored. He suggested that the government ascertain the losses suffered by exporters/importers and support them at the earliest.

Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2020