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  Exporters feeling the heat of Pak-Afghan border closure: PBIF
ISLAMABAD, March 15 (INP): President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said terrorism cannot be defeated by closing Pak-Afghan border. Terrorism is deep rooted in Pakistan which require a comprehensive plan and swift execution. Issues like poverty, unemployment, lack of health related facilities, illiteracy and lack of justice are considered to be some of the major causes of militancy, he said. Mian Zahid Hussain said that exporters of the both side of the divide are facing heavy losses due to the closure of the border therefore it is advised that authorities should allow brief opening of the border. He said that exporters of perishable items are in a fix as their exportable items are rotting while more than two hundred tonnes of sugar is also loaded on containers awaiting opening of the trade routes. Around 3,000 containers that were due to cross Torkham have been stranded in Peshawar, while 2,000 containers have been stuck near the Chaman border, he said, adding that closure is hurting economic and social ties. Similarly, around 500 trucks carrying vegetable, fruits, brown sugar and other perishable food items had been stranded on both sides and food loaded on vehicles is decaying due to the closure of the border crossings. Mian Zahid Hussain said that border shouldn’t be closed without any prior warning to exporters and transporters and it should be kept in mind that it result in unemployment of thousands of labourers. There should be prior intimation to those dealing in Pak-Afghan trade of the border closure in future to prevent losses otherwise business community will lose interest in exports to the neighbouring country, he demanded. He demanded the authorities to allow the movement of trucks loaded with food items to their destinations under the supervision of the Army. Pakistani exporters are facing more losses in comparison to their afghan counterparts, he said. He said that Afghanistan should be pressurised through diplomatic means to curb terrorism.
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