Pak-Afghan Trade Dispute Widens

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Almost 2,500 shipping containers destined for war-hit Afghanistan are stuck in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, officials said Wednesday. The stoppage is due to a row over financial guarantees for the merchandise being traded under a transit trade agreement brokered by the US.

The agreement was signed in June to assist landlocked Afghanistan. The country gets almost 34% of imports via Pakistan and the rest through Tajikistan and Iran. Pakistan wants Afghan importers to provide financial guarantees to ensure the goods reach Kabul. Pakistani traders complain that consignments bound for Afghanistan under previous transit trade agreements were frequently smuggled back to the country and harmed the local market.

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