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Bilateral trade between Afghanistan and Pakistan witnesses a sharp decline

Pakistan-Afghan bilateral trade has experienced a significant downturn on an annual basis, raising concerns about the economic relationship between the two neighbouring countries.

Recent data reveals that in September, there was a notable 9% decrease in Pak-Afghan trade compared to August, indicating a sudden drop in economic activity, reported Daily Intekhab News Agency.

However, the most alarming statistic is the staggering 43% annual decline in Pak-Afghan trade for the same month, suggesting a deeper and more concerning trend.

The decrease in trade volume is particularly evident in the recent figures.
Last month, the total trade between the two countries amounted to just 122.7 million dollars, signifying a substantial reduction in economic exchanges.

In September, Pakistan’s exports to Afghanistan stood at 65.7 million dollars, while imports from Afghanistan were reported at a mere 5.69 million dollars.

This sharp decline highlights both countries’ challenges in maintaining a healthy trade relationship. Several factors could contribute to this decline in Pakistan-Afghanistan trade, including geopolitical tensions, border issues, and economic uncertainties.

The recent surge in insecurity in Pakistan, driven by various militant groups, most notably the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), has cast a shadow over the diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Pakistani authorities have raised concerns, asserting that the TTP maintains hideouts inside Afghanistan and employs Afghan territory as a base for launching attacks on Pakistan. This situation has strained the already fragile relationship between the two neighbouring countries.

In contrast, the current administration in Afghanistan, led by the Taliban, has vehemently denied these allegations. They claim not to allow any individual or group to utilize Afghan territory as a launching pad for attacks on neighbouring countries, including Pakistan.

However, the challenge lies in reconciling these assurances with the ongoing security issues that Pakistan faces along its border with Afghanistan, making it crucial for both countries to engage in meaningful dialogue to address these concerns and rebuild trust in their bilateral relations.