NORTH WAZIRISTAN: Senior officials from Pakistan and Afghanistan met in Ghulam Khan area of North Waziristan tribal district on Monday to discuss steps to facilitate smooth cross-border movement and trade activity between the two countries.

Officials said Army’s General Officer Commanding Maj-Gen Naeem Akhtar, deputy commissioner Shahid Ali Khan, Commandant Tochi Scouts Usman Haider, President North Waziristan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Qadeerullah Wazir, and officials of the customs collectorate represented the Pakistani side.

During the meeting, problems of traders from both the countries came under discussion and officials assured the traders of resolving them on priority.

Pakistani and Afghan officials and representatives of the business communities of the two countries had met in Kabul last week to discuss measures to boost cross-border trade and commercial activities.

In the Kabul meeting, officials had agreed to take steps for boosting bilateral trade by ensuring swift clearance of commodities. They had also decided to increase operational timings at all the border crossing points, including Ghulam Khan.

During the Monday’s meeting, the officials agreed to relax procedures to provide ease of travel to those crossing the border, including patients.

A joint committee comprising representatives from North Waziristan and Khost (Afghanistan) was set up to look into the problems being faced by the traders and ordinary people. The committee would present its recommendations to the officials concerned for easing travel restrictions on people.

Published in Dawn, July 26th, 2022

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