PESHAWAR: The All Pakistan Agricultural Produce Traders’ Federation has urged the government to allow import of vegetables and fruits from Afghanistan in order to maintain prices of different items, particularly onion and tomatoes, in the local market.

Speaking at a press conference at the Peshawar Press Club on Wednesday, the federation’s president Sohni Malik Mohammad Ali said the government had announced round the clock opening of Torkham border but the decision was yet to materialise.

He said the border was opened only for 12 hours daily wherein only 60 vehicles carrying export goods and 200 trucks of Afghan Transit Trade were allowed. He said if the imports were not allowed immediately then the prices of tomato and onion would rise in the local market.

He said bilateral trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan was at the lowest level as maximum of business had been shifted to Iran borders, adding the government was least bothered to pay proper heed to improving trade.

Mr Sohni said that the trucks loaded with perishable items were not allowed to cross into Afghanistan as per government’s announcement, and every vehicle had to wait for at least four days at the border.

He said that a delegation of the federation would soon hold a meeting with Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and other relevant officials to apprise them of its genuine demands.

Published in Dawn, June 4th, 2020