Protesting new regulations: Customs agents strike halts trade at Torkham
Protesting new regulations: Customs agents strike halts trade at Torkham

LANDI KOTAL: Once again cross border Trade at Torkham border has remained suspended after the customs’ agents started protest against the implementation of new rules and regulations by the federal government on Monday.

The TNN correspondent has reported the importers and customs agents at the entry and exit point to the country have been protesting since Monday morning against new rules imposed by the Federal government.

They have announced that their strike will remain to continue unless their demands are met, creating fear among the transporters and traders regarding the transportation of trade good to its destinations on time.

Due to the strike, hundreds of trucks loaded with goods have been stranded on both sides of the border. The traders expressed fear that the fresh export goods such as fruits and vegetable are on the verge of decay due to scorching heat.

Torkham is one of the main points of trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan, however,  protests and security situation has badly affected the trade activities through this route.

The TNN correspondent reported that custom clearing agents are protesting against the online system of clearance recently introduced by the government. The agents said the government has adopted one form and one track policy due to which goods laden tracks are to be fully checked, bringing the clearance process to a standstill.

The protestors said the customs officials are not ready to hear their grievances due to which they have started the protest.

On the other hand, the assistant custom collector Asma Javed has said that the latest system has been introduced throughout the country and thus it is also introduced on Torkham border. She added that under the new regulations, a complete check of trade goods is a must. Javed said that it is also necessary to have a picture of trading goods on the form.  She expressed that the modern system will be more helpful in bringing transparency in bilateral trade.