Indian Cargo Travels via Pakistan and Afghanistan to Uzbekistan for First Time

A private Indian trader exported commercial goods to the landlocked Uzbekistan through Pakistan and Afghanistan for the first time as part of economic connectivity between the four countries.

Taliban Spokesman for the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Maulana Zaheer told VOA that trucks carrying 140 tons of cargo, mostly Indian sugar, departed Kabul on Wednesday for the Uzbek capital, Tashkent.

According to Zaheer, the shipment arrived in the Afghan capital on Tuesday from Pakistan via Torkham crossing between the two neighbors and it was received in a special ceremony.

“We really appreciate the trade activity as it is a major step toward turning Afghanistan into a key trade link between Central and South Asia,” Zaheer added.

A Pakistani official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told VOA that commercial cargo originated from Mumbai, India, and traveled through the Karachi seaport in Pakistan earlier this month before being imported to Uzbekistan.

The development comes after Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed a bilateral transit trade agreement between Uzbekistan and Pakistan along with several other documents during his official visit to Pakistan in March.

According to the official, the Uzbekistan-bound Indian commercial consignment was a privately arranged activity under the agreement and had no government involvement from any of the four countries.

The official furthered that the new Afghan government was bound to facilitate trade activity because Uzbekistan like Afghanistan is a landlocked country and has the right to have access to the Pakistani seaports for international trade.

Under the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA), Afghanistan has the right to use Pakistani ports, land and air routes to conduct trade with other countries.

Recently Pakistan allowed India to use its land routes to transport 50,000 tons of wheat that New Delhi had donated in humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.


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