Barter trade: Pakistan, India open new checkposts
Published: April 10, 2012
ATTARI: Pakistan and India scripted a new chapter at the Attari land border as both nations opened new Integrated Check Posts (ICP) for cross-border truck movement, Hindustan Times reported on Monday.
ICP is to be formally inaugurated on April 13 by Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram. Till now trucks carrying goods were commuted through old gate but since ICP is all set to be formally inaugurated on April 13, both nations started the truck movement through new gates.
Between 8am and 3pm about 48 Pakistani trucks carrying dry fruits, dry dates, and gypsum had reached India through new gates. However, export was slow and till afternoon as no Indian truck had crossed over to Pakistan. It was learnt that since system and route was new the documentation was taking time.
The cross-border truck movement earlier took place for about five hours a day since road had to be cleared for retreat ceremony in the evening. But now with trade shifting to new ICP and done through new gates, trade will start at seven every morning and continue for 12 hours.
Talking to Hindustan Times, Deputy Commissioner Customs at Attari Border, RK Duggal said, “The new gates have been opened for trade but passengers are still using old gates. Pakistan till now has not agreed on new gate for passengers”.
Talks are on going at highest level and are expected to be resolved soon. “We are ready to receive and send passengers through new gates. It is up to Pakistan now. However, for convenience of passengers we have arranged three buses to ferry passengers,” Duggal said.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 10th, 2012.