Pak-Afghan bus service to resume soon.

Pakistan and Afghanistan have decided to resume the Pak-Afghan luxury bus service and opening timings of all the border crossings.

The talks between both sides took place in Kabul, where both sides decided to increase the opening timing of the Torkham, Kharlachi, Ghualam Khan and Chaman border crossing.

In a statement, Pakistan Embassy in Kabul said that both sides agreed on resumption of bus service from the next month.

The statement said that both sides agreed to make border crossings more smooth and remove the hurdles in the way of clearance of transit trade goods.

Pakistan had earlier in November last year agreed to resume the services of Pak-Afghan Dosti Bus service which is in suspension for past five years. However, both sides failed to resume the service after failing to find a suitable transport company to run the service.

Pakistani delegation in the talks was led by the federal secretary for commerce Muhammad Suleh Ahmed Faruqui. The delegation visited Afghanistan from July 18-20.

Both sides discussed necessary steps for bilateral trade, connectivity, facilitating businesses and also reviewed the problems faced by the exporters, importers and trade communities of both countries and their solution.

The statement said that Pak-Afghan Transit Trade volume has gone up during the current fiscal. It was also decided both countries need to keep this momentum of trade on beneficial levels for both countries and further strengthen it.

Officials figures showed that the total volume of Pak-Afghan trade to be around US$ 1.55 billion in 2021-22. Afghan exports to Pakistan stood at US$ 830 million while Pakistani’s exports remained US$ 750 million with the balance of trade being in the favor of Afghanistan.

In addition to this, both countries also decided to implement the temporary admission document (TAD) to allow transport vehicles from both countries to move freely and avoid loading and unloading of goods at the border in order to further boost the trade.

Besides, both sides also decided to increase the operational time of border crossings including Kharlachi, Ghulam Khan and Torkham in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Chaman in Balochistan.

Custom departments of both sides also agreed to work jointly to setup an integrated system to improve the goods clearance at the border.

The embassy statement said that both sides also agreed to remove the hurdles in issuance of visa processing through joint coordination

The Pakistani delegation comprised officials of all relevant departments and ministries.

The delegation members met Afghan ministers and senior officials including acting minister for trade Nooruddin Azizi and acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi.

Afghanistan’s official news agency Bakhtar said that the both sides held talks to facilitate and strengthen transit trade, transportation and economic relations.

The news agency said that Afghanistan’s acting minister for trade Nooruddin Azizi and Pakistan’s commerce secretary and other officials took part in the meetings.

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