Petition challenging Pak-Afghan trade deal disposed of

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Weekly Updates - Traders' Diary

LAHORE : The Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Khawaja Muhammad Sharif here Thursday disposed of a petition challenging Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) after Ministry of Commerce said the agreement in question had not been materialised so far.

Deputy Attorney General submitted copy of a letter written by Director Trade and Transport Facilitation Unit (TTFU) of Ministry of Commerce, Syed Irtiqa Ahmad Zaidi saying the APTTA had not been signed yet as only the record note of a meeting held between ministries of commerce and finance of both countries on July 17, 2010 had been signed.Chief Justice observed that since the agreement assailed by petition was not in field so the petition being premature was liable to be disposed of accordingly. The petition was filed by one Mian Athar through his counsel Shafqat Mehmood stating that the APTTA was not in the national interest, as it would eventually destroy the reeling economy of Pakistan.The counsel said that the trade agreement was in violation of Article 2-A of the Constitution, as it was not approved by the parliament. Chohan pointed out that under APTTA Pakistan would not be able to monitor goods passing through its soil and it would promote drugs and arms smuggling in Pakistan through Afghanistan.

He stated that transfer of illegal goods could worsen law and order situation in
Pakistan as the trade agreement would give open hand to terrorists to carry out their activities in the country. Counsel, therefore, prayed to declare the APTTA against national interest and government be restrained from making any such agreement, which might pose threat to the solidarity of Pakistan.

Courtesy: Business Recorder

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