Pakistan and Afghan cross-border trade suspended at Chaman border.

Mr Atif Ikram Sheikh, President of FPCCI, has informed that the Chaman border has been closed once again for the past week, and thousands of trucks and other vehicles have been stuck under vulnerable, uncertain, and hostile circumstances. He added that it is complete chaos once again on the important and indispensable trade route between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Mr. Atif Ikram Sheikh, therefore, strongly advocates for the immediate opening of the Chaman border. This action is not only crucial to alleviate the sufferings and financial losses of the traders, but also to allow essential supplies like food and medicines to reach those in need. He stresses that this is not just a trade issue, but a humanitarian and socioeconomic crisis.

Mr. Atif Ikram Sheikh elaborates that the Chaman border, situated in the heart of the region’s complex geopolitical landscape, has long served as a significant point of interaction between Pakistan and Afghanistan. It has been a crucial hub for cross-border trade, underscoring its strategic importance for the two neighboring countries.

The FPCCI Chief maintained that these blockages over the past five years have eroded the government’s authority, resulting in a precarious law and order situation in the border area. Ironically, law and order in that area are of the utmost necessity because it is a difficult terrain, trade route, and border crossing.

Mr. Atif Ikram Sheikh added that this has become a routine occurrence. In contrast, small mobs, smugglers, and outlaws frequently close the border area, disrespecting the law of the land and inflicting immense losses on the law-abiding traders of both sides.

This situation highlights the challenges the government faces in maintaining control and writ of the government to ensure the smooth flow of goods and services in the region. The frequent closures of the Chaman border have significant financial, economic and humanitarian implications, particularly for the people of Balochistan.

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