Kabul seeks lifting of ban on cement export from Pakistan

Kabul seeks lifting of ban on cement export from Pakistan
Published: 05 May 2006

The Afghan government has expressed serious reservations on Pakistan’s decision to ban cement export to Afghanistan and Kabul has informed Islamabad that the decision will seriously affect the reconstruction drive in the war-ravaged country, a senior government official told the Daily Times on Thursday.

Afghanistan has registered a written complaint with Pakistan. The Kabul embassy in Islamabad has written a letter to the ministry of commerce that the ban on cement export would have serious repercussions for Afghanistan’s reconstruction, especially in the areas near to the Pakistani border.

The Afghan government has warned that the decision would deprive Pakistan’s cement manufacturers of a big market in their neighbourhood if the ban on export continue for more than two months.

The official said that Kabul was of view that it would seek cement import from other countries and if other countries agreed to provide cement, then Pakistani cement would not be allowed into Afghanistan for it would look after the interests of manufacturers of other countries on a long-term basis.

He said that Pakistan had been requested that Afghanistan should not be looked like other countries such as Iraq and Kuwait and certain other Gulf countries where Pakistani cement used to be exported.

Afghanistan should be looked at in a different perspective for it needs direct and indirect assistance from neighbouring countries.

The government imposed a ban on cement export to Afghanistan following an abrupt surge in cement prices. The government is of the view that ban could deprive the country of a good market.