World Bulletin / News Desk
The volume of trade between landlocked Afghanistan and its southern neighbor have been mostly affected by terrorist attacks in Pakistan that Islamabad blames on Afghanistan-based militants, leading to the closure of border crossings.
According to the Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce, trade between the countries amounted to $2.5 billion in 2010 but has now dropped to $1.8 billion.
Last month, Pakistan closed the border but later reopened the two main crossings -- Torkham in the northwest and southwestern Chaman.
However, the month-long closure led to huge losses for traders, as well as seeing thousands of people -- mostly Afghans -- stranded on the wrong side of the frontier.
The closure “shattered the confidence of businessmen from both sides”, Zubair Motiwala, chairman of the chambers, told Anadolu Agency.
He added: “The trade volume hit a record $2.7 billion in 2015 and it could have touched $5 billion easily if the trade had not been mixed up with politics.
“We can take the trade volume to $5 billion easily if the government gives us an incentive-based trade policy.”
Most agree the blockade has had the greatest impact on Afghans, which is the second largest importer of Pakistani goods after the U.S. -- taking 90 percent of its consumer goods from Pakistan.