MIRANSHAH: The traders of North and South Waziristan tribal districts have threated to supply Rs30 billion pine nuts (chilgoza) from Afghanistan to China instead of Pakistan in protest against imposition of heavy taxes.

The traders associated with pine nuts business said the Customs officials have imposed Rs800 per kilogram tax on bringing pine nuts from Afghanistan via Torkham and Ghulam Khan borders which is unfair. They said the chilgoza belongs to the people of Waziristan living across the border which is being brought to Pakistani side by paying Rs70 per maund tax since decades.

Malik Nek Muhammad, a local trader, said the Customs officials are now charging Rs45,000 instead of Rs70 per 50 kg which is a huge injustice. He said the traders of chilgoza across the border have 20 million maunds chilgoza, but they are not prepared to bring it to Pakistan via Torkham and Ghulam Khan borders due to heavy taxes. He said due to this behaviour of the government, the biggest market of chilgoza in Asia is presenting a deserted look now.

Nek Amal said they will be compelled to adopt alternative routes if the Customs officials did not reverse the decision of imposing heavy taxes. He said the Chinese officials are already in contact with the traders for supplying chilgoza there through the route of Kabul. He said chilgoza worth Rs30 billion will be supplied to China if the Customs officials persisted with the taxes.