‘Pakistan to keep Torkham border open round the clock for trade from August’

PESHAWAR: Torkham border to remain open for 24 hours for trade from the month of August, announced Prime Minister advisor Arbab Muhammad Shahzad here at Seminar at the Institute of Management Science, Hayatabad on Thursday.

Shahzad added that on the direction of the Prime Minister Imran Khan they are giving final shape to the preparations and are hopeful that from August there will be no hurdle left in the way of opening the border round the clock for trade.

The advisor to the premier said that the federal government is making efforts which will increase the bilateral trade volume between the two neighbouring countries. He revealed the prime minister has issued special instructions to open the border crossing points that will not only increase the bilateral trade but would also be helpful for improving mutual relations.

Talking about the PM announcement of opening banks accounts for the people of Afghanistan doing business in Pakistan, the adviser said they are also working on it and the Afghan traders will soon be able to open accounts in Pakistani banks.

Arbab Shahzad also announced that the government has decided to the status of trade corridor to the route from Peshawar to Torkham. For this purpose, He added, the road will be doubled while efforts will be made to revive the local industrial units by giving them more incentives. While talking about the visa issue faced by Afghan traders, Arbab Shahzad said that government is making efforts to make the process of getting visa easy for the traders of Afghanistan.

Pak Afghan joint chamber of commerce and industries director and Afghan Trader, Ahmad Shah Yarzada said that for Afghani traders, Pakistan is the easy way to connect to the world, however, he added, there are a number issues which have to be resolved by the governments of both countries. He expressed the need that trade should be kept away from politics in both countries. Yarzada added that there was once a time when Pakistani products have captured all Afghan markets, but now due to the policies of Pakistan governments, Iran has replaced Pakistani goods.