Bilateral Trade Agreement.

Pakistan and Afghanistan have penned an agreement to facilitate bilateral trade, especially when it comes to the use of coal in power generation to make up for the shortfall in electricity production in the wake of the high cost of furnace oil in the international market. Coal was already being imported in small quantities for power generation via the Chaman border station in Balochistan. Under this new agreement, coal imports will start at custom stations in Kharlachi and Ghulam Khan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

According to reports, the coal will be used for power production at two plants-Hubco and Sahiwal plants. This is a positive development as it will help Pakistan significantly with addressing its energy woes as coal will be transported through trucks via land routes. These decisions were reached during the three-day visit (July 18-20) of a Pakistan trade delegation to Kabul where mutual actions for enhancing bilateral trade, transit, and connectivity were discussed. It is good to see mutually beneficial arrangements being agreed upon considering how Pakistan has already turned into a net importer from Afghanistan since the Taliban took control of Kabul in August 2021.

In return, Islamabad has offered a number of facilitation measures to promote imports from Afghanistan. One of the major demands from Kabul was for duty-free imports from Afghanistan, particularly of food...

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