Pakistan and Afghanistan will launch a luxury bus service between Peshawar and Jalalabad, as well as Quetta and Kandahar, by the end of August.
During the visit of Pakistan’s official delegation to Kabul, the two nations have also agreed to boost bilateral trade by allowing unrestricted travel for trucks and other goods-carrying vehicles. Meetings were held between the delegation and other top Afghan officials, including the temporary ministers of foreign and commerce.
In a joint statement released at the conclusion of three days of talks between Pakistani and Afghan officials (July 18–20), both sides committed to continuing their efforts to remove obstacles through mutual cooperation and coordination.
The delegation from Pakistan was led by Commerce Secretary Muhammad Sualeh Ahmad Faruqui and included businessmen as well as senior members of various ministries. The delegation from Afghanistan was led by Nooruddin Azizi, the minister of trade and industry, and Amir Khan Muttaqi, the acting foreign minister.
In order to ensure prompt clearance of trade and transit traffic and to address bottlenecks and obstacles on a priority basis, the official also agreed to make border crossing points more efficient.
In an effort to further boost trade between the two nations, the two sides approved the implementation of the Temporary Admission Document (TAD), which permits free movement of vehicles engaged in bilateral trade but prohibits the loading and unloading of cargo at border crossing points.
Additionally, all crossing points, particularly Torkham, Kharlachi, Ghulam Khan, and Chaman-Spin Boldak, will have longer operating hours, according to the authorities.
The bilateral discussions were still centred on trade. Both parties concentrated on enhancing bilateral trade, transit, and accessibility as well as taking the necessary actions to facilitate trade and address issues faced by importers, exporters, traders, and business owners in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
In parallel, a delegation from the Afghan business community headed by Khan Jan Alokozai, co-chairman of the Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJJCCI), arrived in Pakistan on Thursday to take part in a roundtable of Pak-Afghan trade stakeholders. Members of the PAJCCI as well as senior business figures from the Kunar and Nangarhar Chambers of Commerce and Industry make up the delegation.
Zubair Motiwala, chairman of the PAJCCI, lauded the efforts of the commerce chamber in setting up visits to Chaman, Torkham, and Swat for joint discussions on bilateral and transit trade, exploring new trade avenues, removing trade barriers, and aiding governments in formulating policy.