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Nimroz traders hard hit by Torkham crossing closure

Nimroz traders hard hit by Torkham crossing closure

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31 Dec 2023 - 19:10
Nimroz traders hard hit by Torkham crossing closure
author avatar
31 Dec 2023 - 19:10

ZARANJ (Pajhwok): Some businessmen in western Nimroz province have expressed deep concern over the closure of the Torkham crossing for the movement of goods and have asked the government to address the issue urgently.

The traders also claimed the shutting of the main crossing between Afghanistan and Pakistan had inflicted heavy financial losses on them.

Pakistani authorities closed the Torkham crossing for the movement of cargo trucks on November 21, leaving many goods-laden vehicles stranded on both sides.

A Nimroz businessman, Haji Mohammad Younus, told Pajhwok Afghan News after the closure of the crossing, the load of goods transport had increased via Bandar Abbas. The transportation cost has tripled

Younus added: “We imported commercial goods via Torkham in the past and it cost us only $3,000 per truck. But imports through Bandar Abbas cost us around $7,000-8,000.”

He said: “When the Torkham crossing was open, we imported commercial goods via it and Rahi Abresham. But since the closure of the Torkham crossing, we have switched over to Bandar Abbas.”

The number of trucks moving into and out of the country is linked to trade volume. For instance, only 180 trucks are allowed entry into our country from Iran on a daily basis.

“With the Torkham route staying closed, the pressure of trade on Iranian ports had spiked. We have to wait for weeks or even months for our commodities reaching Afghanistan.”

Haji Jawad Zori, another trader, said 30 tonnes of his export items had been stranded due to the closure of Torkham crossing. “I’m suffering heavy losses.”

He has been paying $2,000 per week in transport fare for his stranded goods.

He paid only $3,000 in transportation cost from Karachi to Kabul via Torkham, But the dispatch of a container costs him $8,000 from Bandar Abbas via Nimroz to Kabul. He believes the hike in the transport cost is unaffordable.

“All such expenses impacted the businesspeople, but also jacked up commodity prices for consumers,” the trader explained.

Rahmatullah Seddiqi, yet another Nimroz-based trader, also had a similar complaint and asked the authorities to address the issue.

Nimroz Chambers of Commerce and Investment Executive Director Najibullah Khashrodi confirmed the problem, saying imports via Bandar Abbas led to a price hike.

Director-General Customs Mufti Abdul Matin Saeed recently travelled to the province, listened to traders’ problems and promised to resolve them.

Although he did not comment on the re-opening of the Torkham crossing, he vowed to do what he could to sort out the problems of traders

Attempts are underway to increase imports via Bandar Abbas to resolve the issues stemming from the closure of the Torkham crossing, Saeed concluded.


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