PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): Pakistan’s exports to Afghanistan through Torkham have been suspended following a strike by customs clearing agents.
The clearing agents went on strike on Monday to protest what they called lack of facilities at the crossing and the authorities’ refusal to meet their demands.
The strike would continue until the government met their demands, warned Torkham Customs Clearing Agents’ president Hazrat Umar.
He complained they had long been demanding round-the-clock opening of Durand Line for swift trade with Afghanistan.
Other demands of the strikers are the abolition of the scanning condition for all types of exports and a separate place for the examination of goods.
He also called for a stop to the clearance of goods except fresh food items after 5pm and exempting clearing agents’ vehicles from security checks.
Umar blamed the government for failing to honour its promises of providing better Internet and electricity services at the time of goods clearance.
According to Dawn, the strike also affected the import of fresh fruits and other items from Afghanistan. Hundreds of loaded vehicles remained stranded on both sides of the crossing.
Pakistan’s main exports to Afghanistan via Torkham are cement, fresh oranges and retail goods border. Slow custom clearance and electronic scanning of export items have affected exports to Afghanistan.