Afghan Containers Still Stranded in Pakistan, Iran

News - Afghanistan


Afghan officials said Wednesday that 3,000 containers, which were supposed to be released following a decree from the Pakistani prime minister, are still stranded in Karachi, and an additional 3,000 containers are stranded on the border with Iran.

"Pakistan's commitment has not been implemented yet. The prime minister of Pakistan assured us that the vehicles would be allowed Monday, but the decree, which was supposed to be received in Karachi, hasn't arrived yet," said Khan Jan Alokozai, deputy director of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI).

Following the visit by an Afghan delegation as part of the Afghan-Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Prime Minister Raja Parvaiz Ashraf issued a decree last week to release the containers.

According to ACCI, Afghan traders pay $1-1.5 million in penalties a day to Pakistan for their containers stranded in Karachi.

Meanwhile, a number of MPs representing the western province of Nimruz, where 3,000 Afghan containers are stranded across the border in Iran, have said that the containers have been stopped for two weeks by Iranian authorities for no apparent reason.

"More than 3,000 vehicles full of commercial goods such as dairies and other food products bearing all legal documents, are not allowed by the Iranian government to move into Afghanistan," said Farida Hameedi, Nimruz MP.

"This is a serious problem for Afghan traders," she added.

However, the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries said the containers are undergoing customs checks and processes.

Although the ACCI said that a delegation has been sent to Nimruz to look into the issue, Alokozai said delegations are not effective in resolving such issues.

"Delegations have been sent many times in the past, but the problem won't be resolved unless Iran and Afghanistan install an x-ray machine and an electronic system for technical checks of the vehicles," said Alokozai of ACCI.

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