Islamic Emirate, Pakistan discuss to separate trade from politics

KABUL (SW) – Following a series of unpleasant incidents in the relations between the Islamic Emirate and Pakistan, and border tensions, on Tuesday, Kabul has been hosting a delegation from the Ministry of Commerce of Pakistan.

The delegation, led by Mohammad Khurram Aqa, the Pakistan’s deputy minister of Commerce, arrived in Kabul and met with a delegation from the Islamic Emirate, headed by Nooruddin Azizi, the de-facto government’s Acting Minister of Commerce and Industry.

During the meeting, Nooruddin Azizi stated that efforts are being made to discuss issues related to trade and transit with the Pakistani side. He added that trade issues must not be affected by the political relations between the two countries.

Azizi said, “We prioritize all trade-related matters; we should separate the trade and transit we have between the two countries from political issues in order to assist our poor and needy people.”

The acting Minister of Commerce and Industry has described the trade process with Pakistan as satisfactory and added that Afghanistan’s exports to Pakistan are close to one billion and 200 million dollars.

Azizi emphasized, “Our exports to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan have reached nearly one billion and 200 million dollars. Our trade has continued as usual, however some interruptions were made due to tensions.”

Meanwhile, the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACoCI) expects the de-facto government to reach an agreement with the Pakistani delegation to fundamentally resolve issues with Pakistan in the trade and transit sector.

Dealing with the problems of Afghan traders’ stuck containers in Pakistan and resolving the issue of the ban on the import of certain commercial goods declared by the Pakistani government to Afghan traders are among the most important demands that the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment emphasizes addressing .

Janaqa Nawid, spokesperson for ACoCI, told Salam Watandar, “Another issue is that Pakistan demands a grant from Afghan transit properties, which Afghan traders cannot afford, and this needs to be resolved. The problems that Afghan traders face in Karachi port must be resolved, and they have imposed restrictions on more than 218 Afghan transit properties; meaning Afghans are not allowed to import via Pakistan, this needs to be resolved.”

Although the trade relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have a long history, occasionally bilateral trade is suspended for a while due to darkness in political relations and tensions at the borders.