Foreign Policy Watch: India-Afghanistan

Afghanistan–Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA)

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : APTTA

Mains level : India-Afghanistan trade facilitation

Pakistan has allowed Afghanistan to send goods to India using the Wagah border. The decision is a part of Islamabad’s commitment under the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA).

A statement based question can be asked upon the agreement on terms like:

1. Reciprocal trade with India

2. Railways/Road/Air transit whether allowed

About the agreement

  • The APTTA is a bilateral trade agreement signed in 2010 by Pakistan and Afghanistan.
  • It calls for greater facilitation in the movement of goods amongst the two countries.
  • The 2010 agreement supersedes the 1965 Afghanistan Transit Trade Agreement, which granted Afghanistan the right to import duty-free goods through Pakistani seaports, mostly notably from Karachi.

Features of the agreement

  • Trade-in goods smuggled into Pakistan once constituted a major source of revenue for Afghanistan.
  • The 2010 APTTA allows for both countries to use each other’s airports, railways, roads, and ports for transit trade along designated transit corridors.
  • The agreement does not cover road transport vehicles from any third country, be it from India or any Central Asia country.
  • However, the signed Agreement permits Afghanistan trucks access to the Wagah border with India, where Afghan goods will be offloaded onto Indian trucks.
  • This agreement does not permit Indian goods to be loaded onto trucks for transit back to Afghanistan.
  • Instead, Afghan trucks offloaded at Wagah may return to Afghanistan loaded only with Pakistani, rather than Indian goods in an attempt to prevent the formation of a black market for Indian goods in Pakistan.
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