Political instability across the world has raised numerous problems for almost all countries. The recent strain in an already fragile relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan has created a wave of fear in the country. Rumors have it that the neighboring country might put a stop to the use of its territory for goods transportation to European countries and to other member states of the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO).
Previously, Tajikistan and Pakistan couldn’t include Afghanistan into a transit trade agreement because of the latter’s demands. The country demanded that India should also be made a part of the agreement. This wasn’t accepted to Pakistan who claimed that India has to improve its diplomatic ties before getting a place in the trade agreement.
Back in 2006, Pakistan also signed the ECO Transit Transport Framework Agreement (TTFA). Under the agreement, such transport arrangements would have been made that would have benefited all member countries. All member countries of the ECO, save Pakistan and Afghanistan, are a part of this Convention on the Contract for International Carriage of Goods by Road (CMR).
Without being a signatory to the CMR, Pakistan will not be allowed to transport goods to European countries and the ECO member states through land routes.
Ever since the incumbent government has come into power, Pakistan’s exports have witnessed a sharp decline. The country has recorded a dip of almost $4 billion in its exports. Pakistanis goods are famous all around the world.
The markets of Russia and Europe are the most profitable for the country. Pakistan’s strategic location is also idea. Since it is close to Central Asia, it can easily reach to Europe and Russia. However the country doesn’t have land routes to transport goods to these markets.
Up till now, all shareholders of the country have given their vote of confidence to Pakistan’s accession to the CMR. However, the agreement will hold no value for the country if Afghanistan doesn’t sign the convention.
As of now, Pakistan and China are enjoying strong ties with each other, owing to a $56 billion economic project. Pakistan is looking into options of connecting to Central Asian states through land routes.