Kyrgyz fuel imports enter Afghanistan for 1st time in 10 years

By Salaam Times

A fuel tanker is shown on the outskirts of Herat city. [Aref Karimi/AFP]

A fuel tanker is shown on the outskirts of Herat city. [Aref Karimi/AFP]

KUNDUZ, Afghanistan -- Fuel imports via Kyrgyzstan entered Kunduz province, Afghanistan, through Sher Khan Bandar, for the first time in 10 years, Pajhwok Afghan News reported Wednesday (December 15), quoting local traders.

The fuel was produced in Kazakhstan, according to social media.

The imports passed through Tajikistan. Neither Kazakhstan nor Kyrgyzstan borders Afghanistan.

The amount of imported fuel and the price paid, if any, were not reported.

Traders who resumed importing fuel through Sher Khan Bandar are asking the Afghan government to provide them with facilities.

Afghanistan has been in an economic tailspin since the previous government fell in August, with inflation and grave shortages of food and of other necessities afflicting the population.

"Inshallah, fuel imports via this port will have a positive impact on prices," said Matin Yousafzai, director of the Kunduz Chamber of Commerce and Investment, also expressing hope that the imports would boost Sher Khan Bandar port's revenues.

Habibullah Hamkar, director of Kunduz province's petroleum product agency, assured traders of the government's co-operation in importing fuel.

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It is a good step. It will be better if other traders also take action and increase the number of imports to the country the way they did before because, in the ongoing situation, the prices of all items are increasing day by day. Suppose imports arrive in Afghanistan through all ports. To an extent, the items' costs may be controlled and economically lucrative for Afghans during the cold winter. Another point is that the government should assure the traders regarding the exports and imports so that the works can usually begin. Else, the items' high prices will further bitter the life of Afghans, but what is important is that whatever products we had inside the country in the past were disordered as the new government came. Now, more attention should be given. The owners are provided with further possibilities.