ISLAMABAD: The Pak-Afghan Joint Cham­ber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI) has suggested to the federal government that issuing special passes to truck drivers transporting goods between the two countries can resolve the concern of the security establishment.

The PAJCCI has written a letter to the caretaker prime minister and suggested that to streamline and maintain smooth Pak-Afghan trade several measures were essential.

The movement of goods has been suspended for almost 10 days due to the condition that the truck drivers needed to have a valid visa.

The letter highlighted that around 1,000 truck drivers were regularly plying across the border and they could be issued special passes instead of visas after the security verification.

In a statement, PAJCCI coordinator Zia-ul-Haq Sarhadi has said that these 1,000 drivers and their trucks should be registered with Pakistan Customs, as well as the relevant authorities in Afghanistan, while the owners of heavy vehicles should also be charged nominal fees for issuance of special passes.

The statement highlighted that Mr Sarhadi, who is also President of Frontier Custom Agents Association, said that hundreds of trucks were stuck up on both sides of the border and businessmen were faced huge losses due to rotting of perishable items.

At the same time, the importers and exporters both in Pakistan and Afghanistan also have to pay enormous detention charges at a rate of $120-180 per day. The PAJCCI has said that special passes for plying from Kara­chi to Mazar Sharif will smoothen the transportation of cargo goods.

Published in Dawn, February 6th, 2024

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