Pakistan loses spot as top trade partner of Afghanistan

PESHAWAR: Pakistan is no longer the leading country in terms of trade with Afghanistan as bilateral trade has declined drastically over the last several years because of restrictions and hurdles on border crossing points on both sides.

According to details, the volume of Afghan trade through Pakistan has declined by more than 50 per cent from $2.5 billion to $1bn.

Currently, Iran has replaced Pakistan while India has got secured third place as Afghanistan’s biggest trade partner.

In this regard, Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber (PAJC) former senior vice president, Zia-ul-Haq Sarhadi, said that the Torkham border crossing was opened 24 hours a day from 2019 to promote Pak-Afghanistan bilateral trade but despite this, no significant progress has been made in bilateral trade.

Sarhadi said in the last 10 years, 832,000 containers of Afghan transit trade worth $33 billion passed through Pakistan, meaning a 30pc reduction in transit trade as it shifted to Iran, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

For years, Afghan traders are demanding that the process of clearing the Karachi port should be expedited. “The volume of trade annual shipments from Karachi to Afghanistan can be increased to 75,000 containers while the volume of bilateral trade can rise to Rs5 billion if their request is accepted,” Sarhadi said.

It should be noted that the Pak-Afghan Transit Trade Agreement, 2010 expired on February 11.

It may also be noted that Afghanistan wishes to access India via the Wagah border while Pakistan’s principled position in this regard is that the trade corridor agreement between Islamabad and Kabul is not tripartite but bilateral due to which Pakistan cannot facilitate bilateral trade to Afghanistan via Wagah in view of often tense and strained relations with New Delhi.

On the other hand, Pakistan wants free trade with the Central Asian Republics (CARs) through Afghanistan but no agreement has been reached so far.


Aziz Buneri
Aziz Buneri
Aziz Buneri covers financial, social, political and regional issues for Pakistan Today and Profit. He can be reached at [email protected]


  1. Pakistan does not have to be desperate. Although Pakistan may not have been Afghanistan’s largest trading partner, it is still at the forefront of exporting terrorism to Afghanistan. Pakistan provides arms and money to Afghan terrorists and promotes unrest and violence in Afghanistan. In this way, Pakistan remains the largest country for exporting terrorism in Afghanistan.

  2. Pakistan should throw out all afghans from pakistan who are doing robberies kidnapping drugs any many other crimes, afghans are snakes who are bite pakistan all the time. Pakistan should not show mercy for those drug addicts afghans

  3. And by the way terrorism coming into pakistan from afghanistan. Pakistan is millions times better than this war torn terrorist afghans

  4. The Afghan gov’t should stop all trade with porkistan, and support the Baloch and Pukhtuns across the durand line to gain their freedom from the pinjibies

  5. Pakistan should kick out all the illegal Afghans from Pakistan enough doing hosting send them back. Enough is enough.

  6. We should kill the Indian and Raw terrorists that come into Pakistan by collaborating with the Afghan spy agency.

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