No visa fee for Pakistani brothers, multiple visas for businessmen: Afghan CG
Consul General Afghanistan Consulate, Peshawar Syed MuhammadEbrahim Khil has said that his country is willing to issue multiple visas toPakistani businessmen.
This will enhance bilateral trade and brotherly relationsbetween the two neighbouring countries, he said.
Talking to Raza Khan, Chairman Coordination, Federation ofPakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), the diplomat said thatAfghanistan is the only friendly country bordering Pakistan which is notcharging any visa fee from Pakistani brethren. Some people from Punjab think that there is some kind ofprocessing fee which is incorrect, he informed.
Syed Muhammad Ebrahim Khil said that around 1000 peopleapproach Peshawar Consulate daily out of which only 300 get visas.
“We want to issue more visas but want of staff and someother problems are barring us,” the Consul General said.
The envoy stressed the need for enhanced interaction betweenthe business community of the two countries and proposed frequent exchange ofdelegations with the help of FPCCI to cement ties.
He said that security and customs officials of two countriesshould not hamper bilateral trade for personal gains and that Pakistan shoulddo something about 5000 Afghan containers stranded in Karachi port without validreason causing loss of around 500,000 dollars every day.
Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) wasalso very uneasy over the recent developments and has called for extrememeasures, he informed.
Ebrahim Khil said that we are willing to issue visas toparticipants of Tablighi Ijtema (annual gathering of devotees) and they shouldfurnish details at earliest.
At the occasion, Raza Khan, Chairman Coordination, FPCCIlauded the supportive role of Afghan Consulates in Karachi, Quetta andespecially Peshawar.
He said that FPCCI is ready to resolve trade disputesbetween businessmen of the two countries so that bilateral trade can bepromoted.
Peshawar, one of the oldest living cities in Asia, has forcenturies been a centre of trade between Afghanistan, South Asia, Central Asiaand the Middle East.
Presently, almost all of our exports to Afghanistan, centralAsia and as far as Moscow are conducted through trade convoys from Peshawarwhich is not possible without help of Kabul, he said.
Raza said that Pakistan’s government support, provision offacilities and security can again transform Peshawar into a major trading hubwhich will not boost underdeveloped province but also help contain terror.
Raza Khan said that a transparent transit trade deal is inthe interest of both countries which remain a challenge. Transit trade shouldnot be misused by either side or offer incentives to smugglers on any side ofthe divide, he said.
The FPCCI official said adding that we share same frontier andhave inherited common historical, cultural and
religious traditions that callfor large-heartedness and compromise leading to reciprocal concessions.
We will continue to seriously support all of the landlockedcountries, he assured the Afghan Consul General.