Mehrab Shah Afridi

LANDIKOTAL: With rapidly changing scenario in Afghanistan, a large number of people have started travelling to Afghanistan from Pakistan and trade activities have also witnessed a boost.

According to Customs officials, the Pak-Afghan trade has increased three-folds during the last two days. Customs Clearing Agent at Torkham border Fazlullah said when the Taliban took over the Torkham border gate, it was feared that it would negatively impact the trade, but the result was contrary to expectations and till Tuesday morning as many as 270 trade vehicles entered from Afghanistan to Pakistan, a three times increase than earlier volume.

Fazlullah told TNN that earlier about 60 to 70 trade vehicles from Afghanistan used to enter Pakistan in 24 hours. He said the main reason behind the earlier low trade volume was the attitude of the officials on the Afghan side who did not want the trade volume to go up.

Fazlullah said the local population would benefit a lot if trade ties improve between the two countries.

A driver at the Torkham border, Nusrat Khan told TNN that he entered Pakistan from Afghan side on Monday. He said the Afghan officials were performing duty at Torkham border when he was entering Afghanistan, but his return was quite different as Taliban were manning the border. He said the drivers can freely go in and come out of Afghanistan without any hindrance and they have no complaint whatsoever.

Nusrat Khan said things are running smoothly at the border for the time being and it is good for bilateral trade. He said it is yet to be seen what policy is brought by the Taliban regarding border management.

Strict security measures have been adopted at Torkham border with the personnel of Pakistan Army, Frontier Corps and police perming duties round the clock. Trade activities on the border are also continuing in full swing and a large number of vehicles from both sides are crossing over without any trouble.

The government has also confirmed opening of Torkham border for pedestrians from both sides. This free environment has come as a pleasant surprise for those crossing the border for their needs.

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