Afghan-Pakistan-Tajik Transit Pact Planned
Kabul – Afghanistan will have specific conditions for a trilateral transit pact with Pakistan and Tajikistan, the Afghan Ministry of Commerce and Industries said Saturday, suggesting that the conditions set in the Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Agreement (APTA) should not be in the new pact. The ministry said that the new agreement should carry equal facilities for all three countries – especially for the Afghan and Tajik traders – such as insurance services, bank guarantees, and free trade between Afghanistan and India via Pakistan’s Waga port.
Afghanistan will propose these suggestions at the first meeting between representatives of the three countries, the Afghan minister of commerce and industries told TOLOnews. “We don’t want the past issues to be repeated again, and have Tajikistan also affected by those problems. There should be an open way, that would mean if Pakistani traders can use Afghan soil freely, in the same way Afghan and Tajik traders should be able to use Pakistani soil,” Deputy Minister Muzmel Shinwari said.
“There should be a healthy competition, and not only beneficial to one country. Our current position is stronger than that of 2010, it’s more firm. Pakistan needs us more than we needed them in 2010,” he added. According to the ministry, the new agreement will increase commercial exchange across the region. (Tolonews)