Afghanistan has refused to participate in a meeting of the Joint Economic Commission (JEC) with Pakistan, a report in the local media said on Tuesday.

According to the report, Afghan Finance Minister Eklil Hakimi on Sunday told his Pakistani counterpart Ishaq Dar about his governmentís decision to call off the JEC meeting just before his plane was scheduled to take off for Islamabad.

Hakim made the phone call at a time when Pakistani protocol staff was preparing to welcome the delegation at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport, Islamabad. The 10th JEC meeting, which was expected to cover all economic matters, was slated for August 24 and 25.

The commission was supposed to take up for discussion 55 items including three-dozen burning issues, sources said. These included transit trade, access for Afghan cargo traffic to Pakistanís border posts and integration of the customs system of the two sides to curb smuggling.

The progress on infrastructure and social-sector projects, which Pakistan was funding, was also on the agenda. In the past couple of months, the government had removed the irritants, which were delaying implementation of these schemes.