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ISLAMABAD: Hundreds of stuck up empty containers have started coming back from Afghanistan to Pakistan through transit routes after takeover of new Taliban government in Afghanistan.

Sources told Business Recorder here on Friday that at present, over 2,000 to 3,000 empty containers and trucks are stuck on the Afghan border side. The empty containers are stuck at Jalalabad.

These Pakistani containers came from Karachi port and went to Afghanistan through transit trade routes. However, the empty containers are subjected to demurrages and other fee/ charges beside shortage of containers at Karachi port.

Most of containers belong to shipping lines and resulting in its shortage at Karachi. According to customs officials, over 100 containers/ empty vehicles came back to Pakistan on August 17. Similarly, every day empty containers are coming back to Pakistan. On August 19, around 270 empty containers crossed Pak-Afghan border.

Reportedly, Afghan police and other officials posted on the Afghan side demanded from drivers between 10,000 and 50,000 Afghanis to let their trucks return to Pakistan. Following takeover by the Taliban, drivers of the containers are bringing back these vehicles without fulfilling such conditions of illegal payments.

Sources said that the government has also witnessed sharp increase in the number of containers and cargo vehicles.

The data of past few days revealed that the number of cargo/ trucks crossing the border would increase further next week.

On August 15, only 475 trucks carrying goods exports, imports and transit goods crossed border at Torkham, Chaman, Khar­lachi and Ghulam Khan. On August 17, 1,125 trucks crossed Pak-Afghan border. Around 234 containers including transit and export containers were cleared from Torkam customs station on August 19.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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