Policy Brief 30/11/2023
Smuggling under the guise of Afghan Transit Trade is a major issue for Pakistan. For this purpose, Pakistan is imposing stringent conditions which include a bank guarantee from Afghan traders. The brief shall provide a perspective from international law as well as from a policy angle in relation to the reasons for this smuggling. It shall explore the intersection of local tariff and tax decisions with smuggling. Moreover, it shall also discuss international legal obligations on Pakistan in relation to Afghan Transit Trade. The issue of counter – productivity shall also be discussed which occurs when the conditions of Afghan Transit Trade are very hard. Lastly, the brief shall provide following policy recommendations:
- Increase in advocacy that Pakistan is generally compliant with international law obligations in relation to the Afghan Transit Trade.
- Imposition of less stringent policy measures in the long run to reduce any counter – productive effects of increased smuggling. Less stringent measures must be complemented with effective border management system and ‘TIR’ level of custom standards and processes even if there is no legal obligation.
- Avoiding any proposal of tariff harmonization with Afghanistan.