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Afghanistan demands trade pressures on Pakistan

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AT News Report-KABUL: The government of Afghanistan has asked the World Trade Organization (WTO) to “indirectly” pressure Pakistan in its upcoming session scheduled to be held in India to convince Islamabad lift obstacles put before Afghan trade.

The 11th WTO session is to be held in New Delhi and will discuss challenges before business and how to remove them.

Mir Saeed Saeedi, head of international business department at the ministry of commerce and industries, said Saturday that Afghanistan would ask for more benefits of its membership at the WTO to facilitate and increase exports.

He accused Pakistan of creating problems for Afghan trade, saying that Afghanistan would attract the attention of the WTO member countries to this problem.

“We will try to enforce the WTO member countries to bring facilities in the free trade based on the law. They will be also called to bring indirect pressure on Pakistan because direct pressure is not included the agenda,” Saeedi said.

Commerce and industries minister, Homayoun Rasa is set to participate in the two-day session slated for today (Sunday).

Afghanistan officially became a member of the WTO in 2016. Afghan officials say that Pakistan was not committed in the international trade and transit norms.

Pakistan has refused to participate in the session after Pakistani embassy in New Delhi announced the tensions with India were the reason, according to the Express Daily.

Economic experts believe the WTO session is an opportunity for Afghanistan to share its problems with the member countries.

“Pakistan has a little chance in the region as it is showered by criticisms over disobeying the international trade laws and principles. Pakistan is being gradually isolated,” said Taj Mohammad Akbar, economic analyst.