Foreign Office said on Saturday that Pakistan has never blocked Afghan transit access to its ports and constantly provided the facility to Afghan transit trade as per commitment with the people of Afghanistan.
Commenting on Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s statement, asking Pakistan to open Wagah land transit for Afghan imports from India, otherwise his country will also take counter measures to block its transit access to Central Asia, Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said that Pakistan has constantly provided access to Afghanistan to its ports for transit trade.
“We will continue to facilitate Afghan transit trade as part of our commitment to people of Afghanistan”, he said. Although, he said, adding the bilateral transit trade agreement APTTA does not involve transit to and from India, Pakistan continues to allow transit of Afghan fruit to India through Wagah as a special gesture.
He pointed out that Pakistan has not blocked Afghan transit access to Pakistani ports, however, Chaman border was closed from August 19-31 as some miscreants on the Afghan side had burnt Pakistani flag, he added.
Zakaria said that the border was opened after the two sides mutually worked out the measures to avoid reoccurrence of such incidents.
“If Pakistan does not allow Afghan traders to use the Wagah border for imports and exports of their goods, Afghanistan will also not allow Pakistan to use Afghan transit routes to reach Central Asia and other countries for exports,”
President Ghani said in a meeting with UK’s special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Owen Jenkins in Kabul, according to statement posted on the Afghan president’s website on Friday.