Pakistan wants prior “technical meeting” to resolve trade issues before the Joint Economic Commission gets involved.
Afghanistan Reviews Pakistan’s Request For APTICA
Pakistan has asked Afghanistan to first hold a meeting on the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Issues Contract Agreement (APTICA) prior to the meeting of the Joint Economic Commission, the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI) said on Saturday.
The MoCI said they are assessing Pakistan’s request.
The request comes as the value of trade between the two countries has decreased by half due to problems and tensions.
“Pakistan has asked that the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Issues Contract Agreement be discussed at a technical meeting on implementation of transit agreement between the countries. That request is under review,” MoCI spokesman, Musafir Qoqandi said.
The Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) officials said the APTICA meeting should resolve Afghan traders’ problems in Pakistan. ACCI officials said they have shared their suggestions with the government in this regard.
ACCI said Pakistan should promise that it will allow Afghan and Indian traders to use Gwadar port for transit.
“We have numerous problems with Pakistan that should be resolved. They take from us bank guarantee to not unload our goods in Pakistan and when they pay us back, then they withhold 25 percent of the money,” Khan Jan Alokozay, ACCI deputy head said.
In the last APTICA meeting two years ago, Pakistan requested that Tajikistan also should be included in the agreement and Afghanistan said India also should be included. Pakistan rejected Afghanistan’s request.