PESHAWAR—Amidst Prime Minister Imran Khan’s directives for keeping open Torkham around the clock and opening of Ghulam Khan border, the bilateral trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan ahead with a setback when Afghanistan commenced its exports through Chabahar Iran.

One day back around 20 trollers loaded with standard soap-stone reached from Jalalabad into Chabahar and loaded in ships for India and other countries. Since a long from 100 to 200 trucks and trollers loaded with soap-stone and other minerals exported from Afghanistan via Torkham to Pakistan and later through Karachi Port to rest of the country.

Former President of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Ciommerce and Industries Zahid Ullah Khan Shinwari when contacted said that Afghanistan’s soap-stones exports via Iran to other countries would definitely affect the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa industrial sector. He, however, said that due to alternate checmicals, the situation couldn’t be harmed at Karachi, Lahore etc.

Zahid Ullah Shinwari has however, conceded that operating of Chabahar port will also affect bi-lateral trade between the two countries. Almost of transit trade between the two countries already shifted to Iran and Central Asian Republics.

The State Bank of Pakistan in its latest data also confirmed decline in Pakistan’s exports to Afghanistan by 17.68 per cent in second half of previous calendar year, which were registered 608.533 million US dollars in July –December 2018 against 739.233 million dollars during same period of 2017.

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