The move comes after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Jehangir Tareen met with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, senior Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) officials and representatives of security forces. In the first phase, the duration for which goods trucks will be allowed to pass through the Torkham border has been increased to 10 hours and plans are afoot to open the border 24 hours a day for exports by August this year. Apart from this, at the suggestion of Karachi exporters, work has begun on a project to reserve high protein and gluten wheat from Punjab and Sindh for export only.
According to exporters, the high protein and gluten wheat from Pakistan can sell for $8 to $10 more per ton in international markets. In the past, Pakistani exporters used to send 1 to 1.2 million tons of wheat to Afghanistan, but due to the government’s uncertain export policies, Pakistan gradually lost the wheat market in Afghanistan and Russian wheat and grain took its place.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Pakistan Flour Mills Association leader and wheat exporter Hafiz Ahmed said Afghanistan had been a big market for Pakistan in the past, however, uncertain government policies let it slip out of its hands. “Currently, there is a great demand for Pakistani wheat and grain in Afghanistan because it is much cheaper than Russian wheat, but Afghan traders don’t have trust in Pakistan because they believe we cannot deliver on time.” THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE