Pakistan announced on Monday that the Wagha border crossing would be reopened from Wednesday (15 July) to allow Afghan goods to be exported to India ‘in order to facilitate transit trade in Afghanistan’.
The foreign office said in statement, “At the Government of Afghanistan’s special request and with a view to facilitating the transit trade in Afghanistan, Pakistan has agreed to resume Afghan exports through [the] Wagha border crossing from 15 July 2020, following the implementation of the Covid-19 related protocols.”
Through this move, it added that Pakistan had fulfilled its obligations under the Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
“Pakistan has restored bilateral trade and Afghan transit trade to pre-Covid-19 status at all border crossing terminals,” it added.
Furthermore, the Foreign Office announced that Pakistan remained completely committed to further strengthening its bilateral ties with Afghanistan in all areas including trade, and facilitating transit trade in Afghanistan under the APTTA.
In March this year, Pakistan closed all borders with neighboring countries in order to prevent coronavirus from the country’s further outbreak.
Pakistan reopened three major border crossings last month, Torkham, Chaman and Ghulam Khan, at Kabul ‘s request to ease transit and bilateral trade activities which were previously closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
On July 12, Pakistan reopened two more border crossings, Kharlachi and Angor Adda, to improve bilateral trade with Afghanistan.
On July 8, 2020, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) organized an online conference on “Pakistan-Afghanistan Bilateral Trade–Private Sector Perspectives, Policy and Recommendations.”
Representatives of the private sector from Pakistan and Afghanistan expressed concern over unplanned closures of border crossings, sluggish clearance procedures, lack of facilities at the Torkham border and rising transport costs.