Cross-border trade into Afghanistan picking up

Mon 23/08/2021 by Richard Wilkinson
Kabul Market Place

Commercial traffic crossing Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan is said to be picking up, following the Taliban’s seizure of power, with lorries laden with agricultural produce from Kandahar province passing into Pakistan.

A senior customs officer told Reuters that many trucks loaded with fresh fruit from Afghanistan, including its famous Sunder-Khani grapes, are being cleared at Customs House Chaman on the border. Movement is reported to be strong in both directions.

Along with the Tokham crossing near Peshawar, Chaman is one of the main trade routes between Afghanistan and Pakistan, providing a clear picture of economic activity between the two countries.

Vice-president of the Pak-Afghan joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Imran Khan Kakar, told Reuters that Pakistani drivers had previously faced problems returning from Afghanistan, with police and other armed groups allowing empty trucks to proceed only after taking payments ranging from US$61 to $122. 

“Since the return of the Taliban, there have been no such problems,” said Kakar.

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