ISLAMABAD: National Assembly (NA) Speaker has said that promoting exports is imperative for economic stability and development of Pakistan.

“Afghanistan by virtue of its location was a favourable export destination besides being at the transit route to the Central Asia,” he said while chairing the appraisal meeting of the Executive Committee of the Pakistan Afghanistan Parliamentary Friendship Group (PFG) to review the implementation of the decisions regarding Pak-Afghan Trade and visa facilitation in the Parliament House on Wednesday.

NA Speaker stressed for implementation of the recommendations of the Executive Committee of Pak-Afghan Friendship Group for fully realising the export potential of the country. The NLC representative informed the committee that container clearance had reached average up to 1870 per day due to deployment of extra personnel and speedy clearance of Afghanistan bound containers and would be enhanced.

NA Speaker appreciated the performance of FBR and Custom Department regarding container clearance on Torkham and Chaman borders. He directed FBR and Custom to ensure clearance of containers of Afghan Transit Trade within a week. He also remarked that easing down the scanning requirements for the Afghan Transit Trade would facilitate the traders and directed the Custom Department to complete the process within week.

He directed representative of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to ensure establishment of bank branches at Angoor Adda and Ghulam Khan borders for facilitation of the traders. The SBP representative informed that Bank of Khyber and National Bank of Pakistan would establish banks within stipulated time. He commended the approval of the cabinet of visa liberalisation policy for Afghan nationals on recommendation of this committee.

Enquiring about the implementation of the matter related to off-loading of import containers at Miran Shah instead of Ghulam Khan and deployment of FIA personnel at Ghulam Khan, Angoor Adda and Kharlachi, the Speaker directed Secretary M/o Interior to immediately assess the ground situation and submit a report at the earliest to facilitate the Afghan Transit Traders.

Speaker directed Special Assistant to PM on Establishment to held meeting with Balochistan government, stakeholders and apprise the committee about rationalisation of the required numbers of check posts. He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan during approval of the visa policy for Afghanistan has directed to provide all facilities to visa seekers in Kabul Embassy Pakistan.

Prime Minister Special Envoy to Afghanistan Sadiq Khan said that coordination of FBR and NLC is vital to facilitate the transit traders. MNA Mohsin Darwar and Shahdana Gulzar Khan suggested for on ground visit of Torkham, Chamman and Angoor adda besides giving retrospective legislation in the matter of waiving of demurrage issues. Salahuddin Ayubi, Ms. Shandana Gulzaar, Mrs. Sajida Begum, senior officers of ministries of Commerce, Interior, National Food Security, Maritime, Foreign Affairs, SBP, FBR and representative of governments of KPK and Balochistan attended the meeting.