The federal cabinet under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister of Pakistan has extended Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) for another three months.
The Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement is expiring on 11th February 2021.
Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement was signed on 28th October 2010 in Kabul which was effective since 12th February 2011.
APTTA allows Pakistan access to Central Asian Republics via Afghanistan. The agreement allows Afghanistan access to Pakistan, seaports- Karachi Port, Port Qasim, and Gwadar Port. Meanwhile, this agreement grants permission to landlocked Afghanistan access to Wagah for its exports to India.
According to a document available with Propakistani, during the last ten years, 83,2819 containers of Afghan Transit Trade, carrying goods worth US$ 33 Billion have passed through Pakistan, as per data compiled by the Directorate General of Transit Trade, FBR. It is estimated that 30% of Afghan Transit Trade passes through Pakistan and remaining through Iran, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan.
For revision of APTTA, two meetings have been held so far. The 7th APTTCA meeting was held in Kabul on 16-17 November 2020 and 8th APTTCA meeting in Islamabad, from 28-30th December 2020. During the 8th meeting, it was agreed by both sides, that, the text of APTTA 2010 will be revised and updated incorporating the text of proposed amendments, additions, and suggestions for deleting redundant articles if any.
In the past, talks between Pakistan and Afghanistan on trade did not succeed as the former always wanted free movement of Indian goods through Pakistani territory.
Sources told Propakistani that discussions could not conclude due to the unflinching stance of Afghanistan on a few issues including the signing of an agreement under the WTO framework.
The sources added that the core disagreement, between Pakistan and Afghanistan, was on the wording of one clause of the proposed APTTA: Afghanistan was insisting that it should be minuted in writing that the new APTTA will be signed under the law and framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO) which construes free movement of goods including from India through land route. While Pakistan did not accept this condition.
Earlier, the National Assembly Standing Committee on Commerce was informed that the Pakistani delegation will visit Afghanistan at the end of January or the first week of February but no progress has been witnessed.