Wednesday 22 October, 2014
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Afghanistan allowed to send goods to India via Wagah

can this be a potential threat to India's security?

Pakistan and Afghanistan on Sunday reached an understanding on all major issues relating to transit trade, with Afghanistan being permitted to send its goods to India through the Wagah border but not vice versa.

In return, Pakistan would be able to export its goods to Central Asian countries through Afghanistan.

A broad-based record note on this was signed on Sunday evening by Pakistan Commerce Minister Amin Fahim and his Afghan counterpart Anwarul Haq in the presence of Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Online news agency reported.

This issue of allowing Indian goods to Afghanistan through Wagah would be discussed in bilateral talks with India, sources said.

The note mentions that the Afghan trucks will be allowed to carry Afghan transit export cargo on designated routes to Pakistani seaports and Wagah and hoped that resolution of all outstanding matters relating to the finalisation of Afghan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement would help in the early signing of the agreement, after completion of legal processes from both sides.

The Afghan transport units, on return, shall be permitted to carry goods from Pakistan to Afghanistan under the same expeditious procedures and conditions as Pakistani transport units.

It was also decided that all Afghan transit goods would be exported in containers of international specifications.

According to the note, the drivers and cleaners will be allowed to enter/exit the two countries on permits, identified by biometric devices installed at the entry points.

To tackle the issue of unauthorised trade, it has been agreed that tracking devices on transport units will be installed and a mechanism for custom-to-custom information sharing (IT data and others) will be established.

It has also been agreed that financial guarantees equal to the amount of import levies of Pakistan have to be deposited by authorised brokers and custom clearing agents to check the unauthorised trade and these deposits will be released after the goods exit the country.

In case, the goods do not exit the country within specified time, the guarantees will be encashed by the customs authorities.

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