While Kabul has been optimistic about ongoing trade deal with Pakistan, Islamabad is a bit more cautious. There are several points of contention. Afghanistan should not be allowed any access to the sea unless and until it promises to open the border passes in the Wakhan corridor which have been lying dormant for decades. The road links between Bharat (aka India) and Afghanistan have been buried, to be resurrected after a comprehensive peace deal has been signed between Bharat and Pakistan and Kashmir resolved. Afghanistan has come to grips that Pakistan will not allow Tata trucks laden with arms rumbling to Afghanistan so that the Bharati agencies in Afghanistan can arm the mercenaries and send them down to Pakistan from the Western borders.
Pakistan, over time has rejected Afghanistan’s demand of opening up its eastern borders to allow the landlocked state to trade with India, dimming prospects of an early agreement on a new transit trade treaty.
Pakistan’s official position on the matter was that the transit trade agreement is strictly between Islamabad and Kabul and that the issue of trade with India is a separate one. Express Tribune
APTTA 2010: Sea routes to Afghans, Central Asian access to Pakistan:
- The Wakhan corridor should be part of any Trade deal with Pakistan
- Wakhian territory should be given back to Pakistan becuase it was illegally handed over to Afghanistan by the British.
- Trade across the Wakhan corridor has languished because of neglect and incompetence. This was an essential part of the Silk route. Pakistan must have direct access to Tajiksitan.
Three of the passes the Broghol pass, the Irshad Pass and the Dilisang Pass are in varying levels of disuse. Any trade deal must address the opening of these three passes
Following the Soviet invasion, the Kyrgyz moved en masse into Pakistan, where they requested 5,000 visas from the US so that they could resettle in Alaska–that request was refused, and eventually they ended up in the Lake Van region of Turkey in 1982. The village of Ulupimar in Erci? on Lake Van was given to these Kyrgyz Turkic people.
The Wakhan corridor was the high road of the Silk Road, one of the main routes through the mountains separating western Eurasia and Pakistan from the markets of eastern Eurasia and China. Marco Polo used this routein the 13th century on his way to China and described the Pamir valleys.
Pakistan is ready to give Afghanistan access to the sea if Afghanistan allows free access to Pakistani trucks to Central Asia. This deal is in the world, however the main stumbling block is the usage of Pakistani ports for exports and imports to Bharat. Whether Bharati goods and arms (meant for terrorists to be used against Pakistan) are transported via Torkham or via Karachi, Pakistan has a legitimate right to halt that proliferation.
Afghanistan under duress and under pressure from Delhi has been clamoring for access of Bharati goods for Afghanistan–which in effect would compete directly with Pakistani goods. Obviously this is not strategically good for the Pakistanis industry.
Afghanistan does not export much, except for fruits and nuts which are consumed in the border areas of Pakistan. Afghans import products which are transported to Afghanistan, and then sold in Pakistan. This hurts the local Pakistani industry–because the imported goods are sold without paying any taxes. Pakistani shop-keepers and legitimate businesses face stiff competition from the smuggled goods.
Pakistan wants this smuggling stopped which is so lucrative that the goods actually don’t travel to Afghanistan or smuggled back–the mafia ensures that the goods are pilfered in Karachi or en-route and the paperwork makes it look likes the goods were transferred to Afghanistan.
Afghanistan sees Pakistan border trade deal in weeks
A long deadlock over Afghan demands for transit of exports to India via Pakistan through the sensitive Wagah land route was close to ending, clearing the way for Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) within weeks, Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce director Abdul Qadir Bahman told Reuters.
Landlocked Afghanistan is dependent upon transit countries for its foreign trade, with Pakistan having the nearest seaport. More exports would help President Hamid Karzai counter a Taliban insurgency by improving economic conditions.
Almost 50% of Afghanistan’s trade is with its five neighbours Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Trade between Afghanistan and Pakistan is worth more than USD 1 billion.
But trade is very one-sided, the World Bank says, consisting for the most part by imports from Pakistan, as compared to very little formal Afghan exports.
Bahman said both sides would hold an eighth round of talks before an international conference in Kabul later this month in which donor countries and Karzai’s government will try to chart a path forward for the conflict-torn country.
“The main point is access to the sea for exports to India,” he said, promising a deal would also help combat the current thriving blackmarket trade between the two countries.
“If we sign this agreement, it will decrease that because we will have found a way for everyone to carry out business without any problems,” Bahman said.
Afghanistan, due to its strategic geographic position, hopes to become a regional transit hub for trade with Central Asia as well as South Asia, the Middle East and China, if the security situation in the country can be stabilised.
Transit to Afghanistan through Pakistan is currently governed by the 1965 Afghan Transit Trade Agreement which specifies ports, routes, transport and customs transit procedures, and the one recently signed in 2011.
Pakistan says Afghanistan is refusing to agree to customs duty on Afghan cargo in Karachi and other measures to combat illegal smuggling such as compulsory licencing, bank credit guarantees and quarantine restrictions. Money Control
Afghanistan should make territorial adjustments with Pakistan giving Pakistan the Wakhan corridor for some land in Balochistan or Khyber Pakhtunkhawa. The Wakhan corridor separates Pakistan from Tajikistan and was created by the British as a separation of British Colonial territories and Tzarist Russia. Both empire have now gone from the scene, so Afghanistan should hand over the Wakahan corridor to Pakistan.
The Wakhan Corridor or Wakhan Salient is often called the Afghan Panhandle and was created by the British in 1895–a progeny of the Great Game between Britain and Russia.
The corridor is a long and slender land corridor that forms the eastern part of Afghanistan. It is situated in the Pamir Mountains. It is roughly 210 kms (100 mi) long and fluctuates between 20 kms (10 mi) to 60 kms (40 mi). Named after the Wakhan region of Afghanistan’s Badakhshan Province the boundary was marked by Russian-?Afghan Boundary Commission of 1884-1886 resulted in mapping by Major A. St H. Gibbons and his assistants in 1895-1896 and 1898-1900 .
The British conspiracy separates Tajikistan from Pakistan. The British-Russian Boundary Commission of demarcated the land as a buffer between the British Empire and the Russian areas of Central Asia. This happened in 1895-1896 and Lenin took over the Central Asia Republics right after the October revolution of 1917. It was an integral part of the Silk Road. Pakistan wants to build roads and rials through it to Tajiksitan and Uzbekistan. The route has to opened if Afghanistan wants any trade package.The corridor is sparsely populated with only 10,600 Wakhi farmers and Kyrgyz herders.