Islamabad [Pakistan], Oct. 7 : Afghan President's special envoy and Ambassador to Pakistan Dr. Omar Zakhilwal has disproved the claims that Kabul has shut down any land route for Pakistani trucks. Zakhilwal was responding to reports that Kabul had prohibited the movement of Pakistani trucks going to Central Asian states through its territory, reports the Express Tribune.
Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, last month had threatened to shut Pakistan's transit route to Central Asian countries if it did not allow Afghan traders to use the Wagah border for trade with India.
Pakistan allows Afghan trucks to unload their India-bound goods at Wagah on the Pakistani side, but Kabul wants the Afghan trucks to be allowed to deliver goods at Attari in India.
Stating that there was a general debate that there should be reciprocal treatment, Afghan envoy said, "The [Afghanistan] government has so far resisted the [impulse] to adopt a similar policy regarding transit trade." Pakistani trucks could deliver transit goods directly to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan via Afghanistan, he said.
The Afghan Ambassador said, "We have the right to adopt a reciprocal treatment, but we do not consider it (to be) in the (best) interest of our people and our country and it is (also) not helpful for Pakistan's trade." "If you visit Torkham, you will see that 70 to 80 percent of trucks crossing in and out of Afghanistan are Pakistan-owned and registered.
If you check the trucks at Pul-i-Charkhi area of Kabul, you would see Pakistani trucks moving in . both directions," he further said. Zakhilwal claimed that Afghanistan and Pakistan had agreed upon that Kabul's cargo would (be allowed to) go to India and that those goods, which Pakistan will import from India through Wagah will also be allowed by Afghanistan, but this provision has not been implemented.
Replying to a question about peace talks and the future of the quadrilateral process, he said there is a need for a broader regional debate as Pakistan and China are the only two regional nations in the past involved in the quadrilateral efforts.