Govt asked to review transit trade deal with Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Sunday said Afghanistan was trying to harm Pakistan’s economy by forwarding unreasonable demands.Pakistan should also review the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) if Kabul allows Pakistani cargo through its land to Central Asia, it said. “Afghanistan cannot survive without Pakistan’s help but the country has started dancing on the tunes of the powers that want to damage Pakistan,” said Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Patron Shahid Rasheed Butt. Islamabad should evolve a plan to import gas and electricity from Central Asia, which would be highly undependable and opt for import of energy from Iran, he said. Butt added, “The TAPI gas pipeline and transmission line of KASA-1000 project would pass thorough “pro-India” Afghanistan which could be a great risk for our energy security.”

Pakistan’s energy security cannot be left on the mercy of Afghan politicians and the government should expand the LNG import project to import gas from Iran as soon as possible, he added. “A weak and pro-India government in Afghanistan will be in a position to interrupt or discontinue supply of gas and electricity to blackmail Pakistan to provide land route to India which will increase terrorism in Pakistan,” he observed. Butt said that no country should be given an opportunity to damage the country’s economy on the behest of foreign masters.

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