Special passes proposed for Afghanistan-Pakistan cargo transport

The Torkham crossing. Sept. 15, 2022. File photo.

Ziaul Haq Sarhadi, the Coordinator of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI), has proposed issuing special passes to truck drivers for cargo transport between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

In a press statement on Friday, Sarhadi recommended the issuance of special passes to about 1,000 truck drivers, aimed at facilitating smoother trade between the two countries. This suggestion comes after a recent 10-day halt in trade due to visa issues for truck drivers.

Sarhadi emphasized the need for these trucks to be registered with the Customs and Transport Departments in Pakistan, and the Transport and Gumrak in Afghanistan. He also proposed a nominal fee for the issuance of these special passes.

The PAJCCI coordinator pointed out that hundreds of trucks were stranded on both sides of the border, resulting in significant losses for businessmen due to perishable items rotting. Additionally, importers and exporters in both countries are facing substantial detention charges, ranging from $120 to $180 per day.

Sarhadi underscored that the special passes would facilitate cargo transportation from Karachi to Mazhar Sharif, thereby easing trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

This proposal follows the recent closures of the Torkham border crossing and other transit routes between Afghanistan and Pakistan, primarily due to the lack of drivers’ passports.