Pakistan Opens Air Route to Facilitate Afghan Trade

For the first time, Pakistan has opened its air trade route for commercial cargo to Afghanistan, to help the Taliban government cope with the worsening economic crisis.

“Islamabad International Airport is now open to Afghanistan’s high-value transit trade,” Mohammad Sadiq, Pakistan’s special representative for Afghanistan, tweeted Saturday.

Sadiq said a chartered plane brought “a variety of aid” to Islamabad on Friday (15/10) and the Afghan transit cargo was then loaded into containers before being transported by road to Kabul via the Torkham crossing on the Afghan border.

“I congratulate Pakistan Customs for designing the first international cargo transfer from plane to truck via Pakistan. This shows Pakistan’s commitment to geo-political foreign policy,” the envoy wrote.

In a subsequent tweet, Sadiq also dismissed reports alleging that trucks carrying Afghan exports to Pakistan, mostly fresh fruit, were barred from crossing the border by Pakistani authorities. He called the accusations propaganda. [vm/ft]

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