Pak Afghan trade has picked up along border since Taliban take over

Aug 20, 2021: Traders said trade traffic on the Afghan border with Pakistan increased at the Pak Afghan Spin Boldak / Chaman crossing on Thursday, as the shock of the Taliban’s seizure of power began to subside and confidence returned.

Despite the Ashura holiday, a truckload of agricultural produce was driven across the Pak Afghan border from Kandahar Province, a sign that trade has returned to normal.

According to a senior customs official on the border, the movement is strong in both directions, long-bodied trucks are being exported and Afghan transit goods are also going from the Pak Afghan Spin Boldak border crossing and the nearby provincial capital Kandahar.

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Along with the Torkham Crossing near Peshawar, Chaman is one of the main trade routes between Afghanistan and Pakistan, providing a clear picture of economic activity between them.

A Pakistani official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said trade had picked up in recent days since fighting ended in Kandahar last week, and the fall of Kabul on Sunday gave the Taliban full control of the country. “After the Taliban took control of Kabul, trade increased on both sides and empty trucks were returning to Chaman without any difficulty,” he said.

Imran Khan Kakar, vice-president of the Pak Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that Pakistani drivers had previously had difficulty returning from Afghanistan.

He said that the police and other armed men were allowing the empty trucks to proceed along the Pak Afghan border only after paying Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 20,000.

“Since the return of the Taliban, there has been no such problem,” Kakar added.

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