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NATO blockade hurting trade in Pakistan

Nov. 30, 2013 at 10:33 AM

PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- A week-old blockade of NATO supplies passing through Pakistan's Khyber Paktunkhwa Province is hurting the economy, local business operators say.

They note the disruption, caused by activists protesting U.S. drone strikes, is damaging the currency circulation chain and the ability to generate foreign exchange, and driving customs clearance personnel, forwarding agents and truck drivers out of business, Pakistan's Dawn News reported Friday.

Firms in Karachi, Pakistan, and their agents in Khyber Paktunkhwa Province, typically involved in helping move NATO convoys of goods through Pakistan and to Afghanistan, have little to do, said an unidentified forwarding agent.

"Warehouses in Karachi are filled with NATO supplies, but currently, no one is even thinking to dispatch the goods. Since supplies have not originated from Karachi for one week, there is no business and as a result, no payments in foreign currency are coming either," he said.

Hundreds of trucks were also stuck across the border in Afghanistan, loaded with supplies returning from Afghanistan, he added.

Firms in Karachi are typically paid in dollars, and payments to truckers and forwarding agents are made in local currency, Dawn News reported.

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