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Truck to Pak makes history with tomatoes

An Indian truck full of tomatoes enters Pakistan, for the first time in 60 years, from an international border near Amritsar, signalling the resumption of motorised trade between the two sides.
IANS | By HT Correspondent, Attari (punjab)
UPDATED ON OCT 01, 2007 04:04 PM IST

An Indian truck full of tomatoes entered Pakistan on Monday, for the first time in 60 years, from this international border near Amritsar.

Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal flagged off the truck, signalling the resumption of motorised trade over a 50-km road link instead of hundreds of kilometres by ship.

So far, goods were off-loaded by trucks in their own countries and then carried manually by hundreds of porters on both sides of the border.

When it came to large volumes, goods used to be carried on the Kandla-Dubai-Karachi route. With the time, distance and money involved, that process made no business sense.

Monday's move will boost direct trade between India and Pakistan four to five times.

For starters, the trucks will drive only up to the customs house in each other's country and no further. The customs houses are located just one kilometre inside the border.

Customs-cleared trucks with special permits for drivers will go into the other country and unload the goods there.

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