Afghanistan’s daily losses mount as Pakistan trade routes stay closed

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan is losing at least $100,000 daily from each border crossing due to closures with Pakistan, Mohammad Yunus Mohmand, the head of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment, reported.

Mohmand noted that all crossings, including Torkham, Spin Boldak, Ghulam Khan, Angor Ada, and Dand-e-Patan, have been shut down for transit and trade. “Every day, traders suffer losses at each crossing due to the halting of trucks,” he said, adding that the ongoing situation harms both nations.

Thousands of trucks have been stranded on both sides of the border for over a week, with many in transit. Drivers express concerns over delays in passport and visa distribution by Pakistan and the Taliban, impacting businesses and ordinary citizens.

Fruit and vegetable traders are particularly worried, as perishable goods risk spoilage during the wait. “Most of the fruits and vegetables we have loaded are going to spoil, and we may lose thousands of dollars,” said one of the waiting drivers.

Mohammadullah, a truck driver, shared his frustration with the visa process. “We have passports, but getting a visa takes too long. They give you six months, and then say your visa is invalid,” he explained.

Pakistani media recently reported that Pakistan’s trade with Central Asian countries has halted.

Mohammad Yahya, another driver, said, “We have brought Malta [a type of citrus fruit]. We have been here for a week. We don’t have any money to spend.”

Some drivers believe that the Torkham crossing and other trade routes are often closed by Pakistan during Afghanistan’s harvest season to hinder the export of Afghan fruits and vegetables.