Cross-border trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan was disrupted when Pakistan required commercial vehicles’ crew to have passports and visas. This led to Afghanistan refusing to allow any trucks to pass. After talks between the two countries, an agreement was reached to grant another two-week extension for Afghan drivers. Previously, Pakistan had deferred implementing the new rule twice. The governor of Nangarhar province in Afghanistan confirmed that cross-border trade had resumed after the talks. Relations between Kabul and Islamabad have worsened since October, when Pakistan announced plans to deport hundreds of thousands of Afghan migrants. Landlocked Afghanistan depends heavily on its neighbor for imports, but Pakistan says it loses hundreds of millions of dollars each year allowing Afghan-bound goods to enter the country duty-free. Islamabad also says the mass deportation of illegal migrants is necessary to protect its “welfare and security” after a rise in attacks blamed on militants operating from Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s Taliban government insists it does not allow foreign militants to use its soil and says Pakistan’s security issues are a domestic affair.

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By hassani

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