Attari ICP readies to send 50,000 MT of wheat to Afghanistan - Hindustan Times
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Attari ICP readies to send 50,000 MT of wheat to Afghanistan

ByAnil Sharma
Nov 24, 2021 01:46 AM IST

It will be first time since Aug 2019 when any truck carrying Indian goods will cross over to Pakistan through the land border

The Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Attari is ready to facilitate the export of 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat as a humanitarian gesture to the crisis-hit Afghanistan through Pakistan’s territory.

Officials posted at the ICP, which facilitates India’s trade with Pakistan and Afghanistan, and movement of passengers from Pakistan to India and vice-versa, said this would be the first time since August 2019 when any truck carrying Indian goods will cross over to Pakistan through the land border.
Officials posted at the ICP, which facilitates India’s trade with Pakistan and Afghanistan, and movement of passengers from Pakistan to India and vice-versa, said this would be the first time since August 2019 when any truck carrying Indian goods will cross over to Pakistan through the land border.

Officials posted at the ICP, which facilitates India’s trade with Pakistan and Afghanistan, and movement of passengers from Pakistan to India and vice-versa, said this would be the first time since August 2019 when any truck carrying Indian goods will cross over to Pakistan through the land border.

The government of Pakistan had severed all trade ties with India, besides closing the Attari-Wagah transit route for export to Afghanistan after New Delhi abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and converted the erstwhile state into two union territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh—on August 5, 2019. Only import from Afghanistan was allowed by the neighbouring country.

On Monday, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that his government would allow India to send foodgrain to Afghanistan. Last month, India announced 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat for Afghanistan as humanitarian assistance and requested Pakistan to allow its transportation via the Wagah border.

“Though we are yet to receive a particular date from the government regarding the export of wheat, our teams are prepared. We have adequate staff. The shipment would be transported in around 5,000 trucks and we can send around 200 trucks every day. Every truck has to pass through a proper security check, including the risk management system of the Customs, and the entire process of the shipment would take around 25 to 30 days,” said a senior officer of the Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI), which manages the affairs of the ICP.

He said: “Before allowing a truck to cross the zero line, our teams issue special permits to the drivers. The trucks exporting goods are unloaded at the ICP situated on the other side of the border and the shipments are further transported to Afghanistan in Pakistani trucks.”

Presently, Afghanistan is exporting goods, including dry fruits, onion and fresh fruits, via the ICP. Around 50 to 100 trucks have been crossing over to India via the land border from Afghanistan on a daily basis.

Meanwhile, Indian traders have expressed hope of re-opening of trade between India and Pakistan via the transit route. “We welcome the decision of both the governments to re-open the Kartarpur Corridor for pilgrims. The Pakistan government should also re-open trade with India,” said Anil Mehra, president, Federation of Karyana and Dry Fruit Association.

He said: “The traders of both the nations have been suffering since Imran Khan had decided to stop trade with India. The Government of India never stopped the trade, but imposed heavy duty on the goods exported by Pakistan to India.”

The Indian government had imposed a 200% duty on all items being imported from Pakistan after the Pulwama terror attack in February 2019.

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