Economy (Brotherly countries should resolve land route issue amicably: FPCCI)

Islamabad: The FPCCI on Sunday said tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan over provision of land route can hit bilateral trade and energy corridor projects which is not in the interest of any regional country.

Pakistan has refused land route to trucks from Afghanistan to India while Kabul has declined to allow Pakistani trucks to use its land to access central Asian states, it said.

Both the brotherly Islamic countries should resolve this issue amicable while keeping reservations of each other in mind, said Fahmeeda Kausar Jamali, Vice President FPCCI.

In a statement , she said that Pakistan plans to import 1300 megawatt electricity from central Asia through Afghanistan which will cost it 5 cents per KWH while Afghan government will get 1.25 cents per KWH as transit fee.

Similarly, Pakistan plans to import gas from Turkmenistan which will be added in national gas grid in Quetta for which friendly relations with Kabul are imperative.

Moreover, Ms Jamali said, Afghanistan is full of mineral, iron ore and coal which can be transported to Fata or Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for value addition. A big steel mill can be established in northern Pakistan for the purpose which can provide jobs and earn foreign exchange.

The ongoing projects will bring Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan closer and make them interdependent with every country wanting stability in the partner nation.

This will result in peace and prosperity in the region which is a shared goal, she said, adding that Pakistan must improve transmission and distribution system of electricity and gas before arrival of imported energy.