JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Businessmen and truck drivers in eastern Nangarhar province say hundreds of vehicles loaded with food and non-food items have been stopped at the Torkham port.
The drivers say they waited until the legal required time for their turn to cross into Pakistan, but still they are not allowed. Police and other authorities allow vehicles who offer money to customs authorities, they claim.
Officials did not deny corruption in Torkham port, but insisted that with introduction of a more comprehensive mechanism, the problem would be addressed.
These vehicles are mostly loaded with vegetables and fruits for export to Pakistan and the items get rotten after the vehicles are delayed to cross the border crossing.
Jalil, a truck driver, said police often refused to allow trucks until they were paid money.
“Police came to us and demanded 2500 afghanis per truck, we offered them 1500 afs per truck for 11 trucks, then they allowed us to proceed.”
Nader, another driver, said: “Truck owners who have reference or provide money are allowed on the main road to cross Torkham crossing.”
Attaullah Khogyani, the governor’s spokesperson, did not reject corruption in Torkahm port and said a proper mechanism was being worked out to resolve all difficulties.
Akbar Jan Polad, Policy and Technical Head at the Transport Ministry, said the ministry would install scan machines in all ports and this will help improve transport service at ports.