Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani, has issued a decree banning Pakisani trucks from entering the country through Torkham and Spin Boldak border crossings.
According to ToloNews, the Afghan Transport Ministry said on Sunday that the trucks will only be allowed up to the border crossings, and trucks will have to offload their goods at that point and transfer them to Afghan trucks.
“The Afghanistan and Pakistan Trade Agreement (APTA) has expired. Before this Pakistan did not allow Afghan trucks to enter its territory. So we [will] do the same, and after this Pakistani trucks will be unloaded at borders and Afghan trucks will carry the goods to Hairatan and Shir Khan ports,” Transport Ministry Spokesman Hekmatullah Qawanch said.
Interestingly, experts believe that the ban will help in creating more job opportunities for truckers and transit companies in Afghanistan. “Currently there is no work for transit companies and the drivers are at home,” a director of a transport company, Abdul Ghafoor Norzai, said.
“Pakistani trucks go to every part of our country, but our trucks are not allowed to enter Pakistan. We want the government to do the same to Pakistan and also help us to be allowed to enter neighboring countries,” said Abdul Rauf, the head of a transport company.
The Afghan Transport Ministry said that Kabul will soon sign transit agreements with Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. The transit agreements would allow Afghan trucks to enter the three countries, ToloNews reported.