Pakistan closes Durand Line, causes $90 mn trade loss for Afghanistan

When Afghan agriculture and industry are disrupted; when an entire season of a farmers work is wasted, the impoverished people take the quickest path to profitability: heroin. World leaders claim to be fighting terrorism, but they allow their ally in that fight, Pakistan, to block all Afghan produce and exports from international markets, essentially empowering heroin markets and those who profit from them.

Source:  First Post

The “unilateral” blocking of the Durand Line by Pakistan choked off trade and caused damages of up to $90 million, Kabul complained to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) last week.

“The measures taken by the government of Pakistan at the entry points at the Durand line, border with Afghanistan, were tantamount to a total ban of trade between the two countries,” Dr Suraya Dalil, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the UN office at Geneva told the WTO Council for Trade in Goods on 6 April.

Representational images. Reuters

“…Afghan exporters were prevented from shipping any goods to Pakistan destined to be released for consumption in that country.”

“Similarly, they (Afghan exporters) could not export any goods to other countries which, in order to reach their destination, have to transit the territory of Pakistan,” Dalil said.

Imports to Afghanistan from Pakistan and other countries were also blocked.

Pakistan closed the border between the two countries from 17 February this year after a surge of terrorist attacks on its soil claiming that terrorists use Afghani soil against Pakistan. Though they had initially announced that the decision to close the entry points to the Durand Line was indefinite, the border re-opened on 21 March.

The Afghan diplomat described the consequences of closing the Durand Line as “huge”. Continue reading