Pakistan, Afghanistan resume transit trade talks

Source: India Abroad News Service

July 13 (IANS) Pakistan and Afghanistan have resumed talks to iron out differences in the way of transit treaty after a three-year hiatus, the media reported on Saturday.

Talks between the two neighbours had collapsed in September 2015 after Kabul insisted on including India in transit treaty negotiations and the trilateral trade agreement involving Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, reports Dawn news.

The turnaround came after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani met Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad on June 27 where both sides agreed to deepen trade relations.

On Friday, a Technical Working Group (TWG) of Afghan officials met Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood where both sides exchanged their concerns and proposals.

During the meeting, Dawood complained to Afghan officials over the unchecked pilferage of goods through transit trade and asked them to address the issue.

He also asked officials to submit their revised draft on the Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) which has been pending since 2017.

The official leading Afghan delegation proposed a joint commission to resolve issues including transit trade.

Pakistan’s exports to Afghanistan peaked at $2.4 billion in 2010-11 and remained north of $2 billion mark in 2011-12 and 2012-13 before falling to $1.3 billion in 2018-19 after talks between the two sides broke down.

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