Pakistan to allow goods from Afghanistan to India

Abdullah Qazi / July 19, 2010

After years of negotiations, Afghan and Pakistani officials have a partial agreement on a transit trade deal. The Afghan delegation, led by Minister of Commerce Anwar-ul Haq Ahadi met with a Pakistani delegation, led by Pakistan's Commerce Minister Makdoom Amin Fahim, and signed the deal on Sunday, July 18, 2010. Under the agreement, Pakistan will allow goods from Afghanistan to reach India by way of Pakistan via air and through the Wagah border. In return, Afghanistan will allow Pakistan trade access to the Central Asian countries. Unfortunately for Afghanistan, the deal does not allow goods from India to Afghanistan via Pakistan. There is still more that needs to be done, for example, a joint working group will need to discuss what specific items will be allowed. The Afghan government is hoping to transform Afghanistan into a sort of "land bridge" in the heart of Asia. Currently, there is nearly $2 billion in annual trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan, and officials are hoping to boost this number and improve the economies of both countries.

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