Pak-Afghan trade limited to medicine, food only: Asad Umar | Pakistan Today

Pak-Afghan trade limited to medicine, food only: Asad Umar

Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar on Friday said the decision to allow cargo movement between Pakistan and Afghanistan was limited to food and medicine only, which would be arranged thrice a week.

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) meeting chaired by Umar was informed that the supply of food items from Iran to four border districts of Balochistan had also been permitted.

Umar told the participants that Pakistanis who wanted to return from Afghanistan would have to undergo testing and complete their quarantine period.

He further said a strategy to deal with the pandemic in the coming days would be presented to Prime Minister Imran Khan on April 12 for its approval by the National Coordination Committee the next day.

Health Minister Dr Zafar Mirza briefed the meeting about measures to enhance the present testing capacity.

The participants of the meeting expressed their satisfaction over the improvement in the recovery rate of COVID-19 patients. They noted that the number of cases in the country was less than the estimates and that was a positive development.

During the meeting, a plan of action prepared by the Pakistan Engineering Council in coordination with a clinical study committee for the indigenous production of ventilators was also presented.

Umar stressed the need to synergise all efforts through a one-window operation. “While we endeavour for indigenous production, the focus concurrently should be on procurement through commercial channels from abroad,” he added.

The meeting was attended by Interior Minister Ijaz Shah, Industries and Production Minister Hammad Azhar, Energy Minister Omar Ayub, Economic Affairs Minister Khusro Bakhtiar, National Food Security Minister Fakhar Imam, Adviser to the PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood and Special Assistant to the PM on National Security Moeed Yusuf among others.