Afghan Consulates playing positive role in enhancing Pak trade: Raza Khan

Trade and industry

ISLAMABAD: Consul General Afghanistan Consulate, Peshawar Syed Muhammad Ebrahim Khil has said that his country is willing to issue multiple visas to Pakistani businessmen.

This will enhance bilateral trade and brotherly relations between the two neighbouring countries, he said.

Talking to Raza Khan, Chairman Coordination, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), the diplomat said that Afghanistan is the only friendly country bordering Pakistan which is not charging any visa fee from Pakistani brethren.

Some people from Punjab think that there is some kind of processing fee which is incorrect, he informed.

Syed Muhammad Ebrahim Khil said that around 1000 people approach Peshawar Consulate daily out of which only 300 get visas.

“We want to issue more visas but want of staff and some other problems are barring us,” the Consul General said.

The envoy stressed the need for enhanced interaction between the business community of the two countries and proposed frequent exchange of delegations with the help of FPCCI to cement ties.

He said that security and customs officials of two countries should not hamper bilateral trade for personal gains and that Pakistan should do something about 5000 Afghan containers stranded in Karachi port without valid reason causing loss of around 500,000 dollars every day.

At the occasion, Raza Khan, Chairman Coordination, FPCCI lauded the supportive role of Afghan Consulates in Karachi, Quetta and especially Peshawar.

He said that FPCCI is ready to resolve trade disputes between businessmen of the two countries so that bilateral trade can be promoted.

Peshawar, one of the oldest living cities in Asia, has for centuries been a centre of trade between Afghanistan, South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East.

Presently, almost all of our exports to Afghanistan, central Asia and as far as Moscow are conducted through trade convoys from Peshawar which is not possible without help of Kabul, he said.

Raza said that Pakistan’s government support, provision of facilities and security can again transform Peshawar into a major trading hub which will not boost underdeveloped province but also help contain terror.

Raza Khan said that a transparent transit trade deal is in the interest of both countries which remain a challenge. Transit trade should not be misused by either side or offer incentives to smugglers on any side of the divide, he said.

The FPCCI official said adding that we share same frontier and have inherited common historical, cultural and religious traditions that call for large-heartedness and compromise leading to reciprocal concessions. We will continue to seriously support all of the landlocked countries, he assured the Afghan Consul General.

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