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'Stoppage of containers by Pak Customs may cause temporary food shortage in Afghanistan'

Islamabad, Wed, 18 Jan 2012 ANI

Islamabad, Jan 18 (ANI): Afghanistan has expressed fears that stoppage of food containers by the Pakistan Customs could cause temporary food shortages in the country.


The visiting Afghan Finance Minister, Dr Hazrat Omar Zakhiwal, said the 700 containers were carrying commercial cargo under the Transit Trade Agreement and had nothing to do with the Nato forces.


"Pakistan has no right to stop these containers carrying mainly food items and other domestic/commercial goods," The Dawn quoted Dr Zakhiwal, as saying at a meeting of the Pakistan-Afghan Joint Economic Commission (JEC) in Islamabad.


The Afghan finance minister said the transit trade cargo containers were being held up at ports in Pakistan by the Customs department on suspicion that they were laden with illegal cargo.


"Delay in the clearance of food containers for several weeks is not only creating food shortage in my country but will also end up in revenue shortfall if such a large number of containers do not arrive in time," he added.


Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, however, clarified that it would take seven to ten days for clearance of the containers, which have currently been held back by the Customs authorities. (ANI)


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