Opening of Torkham Terminal for continuous Afghan Trade expected next week

ISLAMABAD: To ensure continuous trans-border trade with Afghanistan, the National Logis­tics Cell (NLC) in a joint collaboration with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has completed arrangements for the Torkham Terminal that is expected to open next week.

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On a trial basis, the terminal had been operating 24/7 and will be formally inaugurated at a ceremony to be held at Torkham.

During his last visit in June, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani requested Prime Minister Imran Khan to ease trade between the two countries through the border crossing. The work to upgrade the terminal began after this.

Benefitting landlocked Afghanistan by reducing dependency, this move will facilitate export and import business especially in perishable items, reduce congestion and ease pedestrian movement between the two countries and will particularly enhance the Afghan-Pakistan Transit Trade which stands at around $2.6 billion a year.

The NLC informed that the border terminal generated significant economic activities in the area which has largely benefited the local KhugaKhel Shinwari tribe.

Arrangements for office accommodation of Customs, Federal Investiga­tion Agency (FIA), Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF), the Frontier Corps (FC) NADRA and various others have also been completed to perform duties in regard to regulation of cargo and passenger movement. Everything being traded will be documented and accounted for.

Furthermore, to curb illegal trade narcotics trafficking, as well as the backward flow of transit trade goods to Pakistan, container and baggage scanners, CCTV monitoring, lighting and other amenities, have been installed to ensure smooth functioning of the terminal.

The border terminal will run in two shifts day and night, with particular ease of movement for Afghans travelling across the border for treatment in hospitals in Peshawar.

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