Prime Minister of Pakistan
Mian Nawaz Sharif
I would like to request you to please issue directives to expedite the pace of ongoing trade with India through Wagha Border. Early implementation of a well-tailored and well thought-out Integrated Border Management System at Wagha in consultation with all the public and private sector stakeholders is need of the hour.
I, on behalf of the business community, wanted the government to introduce a new management system without any further delay so that the trade between Pakistan and India could flourish. Since the present government had clearly given green signal for increasing trade activities with regional countries particularly with India; therefore, all the public and private sector entities should be on the same page so that a collective approach and wisdom could be applied to put the Pak-India trade vehicle in top gear.
Dry ports should be activated instead of managing trade activities at border. Trucks should be given access to dry ports to complete the procedural formalities before going to border terminal to avoid long queues.
In Amritsar, large hotels are being constructed as Indian government expects large influx of businessmen and tourists from Pakistan. Similarly, Government of India had also formed the Land Port Authority for regulating and facilitating the trade through land routes. Keeping in view, the importance and worldwide recognition of regional trade, Pakistani government should also develop required infrastructure at the border terminal. The two governments have announced to keep the border open for 24 hours, for trade and business. Therefore, it is very crucial to take immediate steps for creating a trade enabling environment at the Wagha Border.
Despite infrastructure and scanning related hazards, there is a list of 137 items which are tradable through land route and this list is going to be increased to 500 items very soon. It will become much difficult for the terminal staff to handle more goods. Instead of scanning all the goods going across the border the search should be done randomly to save time.
A trust should be formed like Karachi Port Trust to handle the operations at the Wagha Border trade terminal while the security arrangements could be handed over to any law enforcement agency like Rangers.
Mian Tariq Mishbah,