Pakistan bans imports of fresh fruit & vegetables from Afghanistan

At the Torkham border crossing - the busiest port of entry between the two countries - the Pakistan Customs and Food Department stopped loaded trucks and refused to let food items from Afghanistan through.

Customs officials put forward seven conditions for importing fresh and dry fruits, cooking oil and ghee from Afghanistan. On Wednesday, the authorities stopped at least 50 trucks at the border.

President Hayatullah Shinwari from the All Torkham Customs Clearing Agents Association told a press conference that Pakistan customs now snatched business from the tribal people. Calling the Customs Authorities conditions illegal, Shinwari said the conditions imposed for import of goods were impossible to fulfil by the transporters.

Shinwari said imports from Afghanistan were completely stopped, which would affect the national Exchequer. He told The News that 50 trucks loaded with different kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables were stranded at Torkham and would be wasted if not permitted to reach Peshawar and other cities in time.
Customs clearing agents and traders threatened to launch a protest if the Pakistan Customs did not withdraw its conditions within one week.

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