KABUL – Pakistani transit trade trucks have been barred from using the Afghan route to carry goods to the Central Asian countries, after Pakistan rejected President Ashraf Ghani’s call to allow Indian vehicles to Afghanistan through Wagah border.
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A statement issued by the spokesman for Afghan President, Shah Hussain, said that the decision to ban Pakistan’s transit trade was taken during a top level meeting held in Kabul.
According to him, Pakistan did not allow Afghan trucks carrying dry fruits to India to cross the Chaman border. The Pakistan’s move caused great loss to Afghanistan.
He said that the Pakistani border officials were also informed about the decision.
Meanwhile, the Pakistani Foreign Office spokesman, Nafees Zakaria, said that Pakistan did not ban any Afghan transit trade truck, and in fact only Indian trucks were not allowed to use the Pakistani route to reach Afghanistan.
He said Afghan transit trade trucks were still allowed to use the Wagah border-crossing to reach India, under the Pak-Afghan Transit Trade Agreement. However, there was no such provision to allow Indian trucks to use the Pakistani route to carry goods to Afghanistan, he maintained.
Earlier on Friday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had threatened Pakistan to block its transit trade with Central Asian countries via Afghan route, if Islamabad did not allow Kabul to trade with New Delhi via Wagah border.
The remarks surfaced during Ghani’s meeting with UK’s special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Owen Jenkins in Kabul.
He said Afghanistan was not a landlocked country anymore and that Kabul could look for alternatives after Islamabad did not give consent.
During his 2015 India visit as well, Ashraf Ghani had come up with a similar threatening statement for Pakistan.
He said the Pakistan-Afghan Transit Trade Agreement was based on equality, further adding that Kabul would take some counter measures if Indian trade trucks were not allowed to reach Afghanistan through Wagah border.