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Afghan transporters cry foul at ‘extortion’ of cash by Pakistani officers



  • ATOA president claims checkpoints arrange in several KP districts for blatantly amassing cash on pretext of ‘checking’

PESHAWAR: Afghan transporters, working between Pakistan to Afghanistan have lodged a proper criticism with Afghan Embassy, citing widespread unlawful collections by numerous authorities, together with the police and customs officers, in Pakistan from car transporting items beneath Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Commerce Settlement (APTTA).

The President of Afghan Transport Homeowners Affiliation (ATOA), Mohammad Noor Ahmadzai, alleged that Pakistani authorities have been allegedly extorting exorbitant sums of cash from Afghan transporters by way of numerous illegal means. He claimed, “They’re amassing from Rs1000 to Rs10,000 per car illegally.” Ahmadzai additional claimed that quite a few checkpoints have been established throughout completely different districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the place officers are blatantly amassing cash from automobiles beneath the pretext of “checking.” These unauthorised collections are including significantly to the monetary burden on Afghan transporters, he mentioned.

Moreover, he defined that in Peshawar, Nowshehra, Swabi, Mardan, Hangu, and Parachinar, visitors cops have been pressuring Afghan transporters to fulfill particular day by day quotas of extortion cash.

He expressed frustration over the shortage of motion in opposition to these unlawful practices regardless of repeated complaints to each Pakistani authorities and the Afghan Embassy. He revealed that Afghan transporters are compelled to cowl these bills themselves, as there are not any funds allotted by Pakistani or Afghan transport departments.

Within the context of Afghan transport, the state of affairs is especially problematic. In keeping with Mashal Khan, an Afghan driver, there are isn’t any provision for getting cash from commerce automobiles, Nevertheless, from Attock to Torkham, every truck is topic to illegal extortions starting from Rs1000 to 40,000 rupees, with no official receipts offered. He added that this unauthorised assortment not solely impacts the Afghan transport sector but additionally hinders commerce between the 2 international locations. At current, hundreds of trailers and vans facilitate commerce between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

As Afghan transporters face mounting monetary pressures and an unjust system, there may be an pressing want for each Pakistani and Afghan authorities to deal with these points. Speedy actions must be taken to eradicate these unlawful extortions and guarantee a good and clear system that advantages each nations and their transport sectors.

In keeping with Afghan transporters, whereas, on one hand, Pakistani authorities accumulate hundreds of rupees from them by way of police, customs, and income officers, then again, Afghan transport proprietor associations cost Afghan-bound cargo vans from Pakistan to Afghanistan a day by day payment of 12,000 rupees per truck by way of a card system, which is seen as unfair by transporters. An Afghan transporter, who identifies himself because the president of the Afghan Transport Proprietor Affiliation, collects 12,000 rupees from each truck touring from Peshawar to Torkham, utilizing a card system. The cardboard not solely identifies him because the president but additionally shows his image, together with the peace of mind that nobody, whether or not or not it’s the police, different authorities businesses, and even different vans, will intervene. Apparently, this group isn’t registered with any Pakistani authorities division or authority.

At current, beneath Pak-Afghan commerce and transit, round three thousand trailers and 4 thousand Mazdas transport numerous items to Afghanistan, with day by day routes starting from 300 to a few hundred fifty automobiles. In the course of the NATO period, there was once a day by day crossing of 1000 to 12000 automobiles on the border.

District Police Officer (DPO) Khyber, Salim Abass, claimed that almost all problems with Afghan transporters  have been resolved, wherever that they had difficulties, they’ve been addressed. Customs AC Torgham Rizwan additionally refuted allegations by Afghan transporters, stating that no unlawful collections are produced from Afghan transporters inside the terminal.

In keeping with clearing brokers, because of the blocking of Afghan cargo vans at numerous checkpoints from Peshawar to Torkham for unlawful collections, many goods-laden Afghan vans usually find yourself getting broken. Consequently, Afghan merchants have shifted their enterprise from Pakistan to Iran, Central Asia, and different international locations, which is adversely affecting Pak-Afghan commerce quantity.

In keeping with sources, unauthorized checkpoints arrange in numerous areas of Khyber district and collections of cash from transporters, not solely causes losses to the federal government exchequer but additionally severely impacts commerce between each international locations.

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Commerce physique declares closure of retailers unsuitable option to management smog, air pollution



ISLAMABAD: The official commerce physique of the retail sector within the nation has opposed the closure of markets and retailers in view of controlling the rising smog, as the federal government is attempting to manage mitigate air air pollution by decreasing industrial exercise.

Addressing a ceremony on Thursday Chairman CAP Tariq Mehboob noticed that heavy transport, burning of waste and crop residue and non-compliant factories contribute to smog probably the most, not the retail sector.

“No different nation or area is shutting down markets to manage air air pollution. As is the case in China and our neighboring nations, the main focus should be on controlling motion of huge automobiles which use low high quality gas and emit black smoke; cracking down on burning of waste and stopping factories which might be polluting by burning wooden, tyres, and many others. because of the absence of pure fuel,” he identified.

Talking to media, Tariq Mehboob stated, “For the reason that previous one 12 months, the retail timings are already restricted to 10 PM as per the orders of the Court docket. For the previous few weeks, extra restrictions have been utilized together with late opening and full day closures that are leading to big losses to retail companies and allied sectors, employment and tax technology.”

For the reason that Covid-19 pandemic, shutting down retail has turn into the norm each time any disaster emerges and it solely has a superficial influence on the issue. Retailers have skilled over 30 extended bouts of restrictions on working timings and days over the previous 4 years, with compliant retailers being the worst affected each time.

Much less distinguished markets seldom observe any restrictions imposed by authorities resulting from restricted enforcement capability, as per CAP.

“Not too long ago, ad-hoc modifications to notifications have resulted in confusion and abrupt disruptions for our companies and workers. Furthermore, eating places and different service sectors have been allowed to stay open whereas retailers should shut, so motion of small automobiles nonetheless continues throughout closed interval.

We can’t help the closure of any industrial exercise as a result of it doesn’t addressing the basis causes of smog. Shutting down just one sector repeatedly won’t create the specified leads to smog discount or electrical energy saving,” acknowledged Asad Shafi, Vice Chairman CAP.

On this challenge, Tariq Mehboob defined that, “implementation of full retail shutdown in 6 main divisions of Punjab on final Sunday has resulted in a rare lack of Rs. 10 billion for retail companies, the home provide chain and tax revenues.

That is along with losses already incurred over the previous few weeks throughout associated restrictions. November and December is the height season for retail and companies have allotted their funding a number of months prematurely. Whereas nearly all the pieces else stays open, the organized retail sector has repeatedly turn into the sufferer to abrupt selections and knee-jerk reactions from the authorities. Our business is structured to run 7 days per week and after we are restricted in timings or off-days, we take successful as most of our prices proceed for the closed interval. Furthermore, our suppliers and distributors additionally endure as a result of demand of their services and products are affected, resulting in a domino impact. Such counter-productive selections are creating an pointless drag on revitalizing the financial system and boosting employment.”

The federal government ought to take us into confidence at each stage and applied balanced options that don’t damage the financial system. Whereas we wholeheartedly abide by the choice of the Punjab Authorities, we want to suggest an alternate method which will successfully contribute to smog discount with out adversely affecting home commerce.”

“For instance, the federal government is closing retail on weekends that are the best sale days and hypothetically solely decreasing smog for 10-12 hours of retail timing for 2 days.

If retail closure is seen as a vital measure, our suggestion is to contemplate adjusting the day by day retail working hours to start at 1 or 2 pm, permitting for a day by day saving of 4-5 hours within the morning which might be extra sustainable. This modification goals to strike a steadiness between mitigating smog influence and persevering with financial actions, and, consequently, employment and taxation revenues.

Moreover, manufacturers have thousands and thousands of followers on their social media and authorities can collaborate with them to coach and talk to common public for such initiatives on how you can scale back air air pollution and keep away from its dangerous results.

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KP witnessed 563 terror incidents in 2023, reveals report



PESHAWAR: The Anti-Terrorism Division (CTD) on Thursday launched a report on the fear incidents in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 2023.

In line with the CTD report, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) witnessed as many as 563 terror incidents this yr. Out of 563 incidents, police had been focused 243 occasions.

In line with the report, the very best 132 incidents of terrorism had been reported in Dera Ismail Khan, 103 incidents in Khyber and 89 terror incidents had been reported in Peshawar?

The report additional revealed that 86 occasions terrorists attacked North Waziristan and 50 occasions South Waziristan? The report additional stated that as many as 837 terrorists had been taken into custody.

The best variety of arrested outlaws was from Peshawar 245.

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Sindh broadcasts winter holidays for colleges



KARACHI: The Sindh authorities on Thursday introduced winter holidays for personal and authorities colleges and different instructional establishments, throughout the province.

In line with a notification issued by the Sindh Schooling and Literacy Division, the winter holidays will begin from December 22 to December 31.

All private and non-private training establishments within the province will stay closed as a result of winter holidays from December 22 to December 31.

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