Afghan Eid animal ban hits livestock traders

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PESHAWAR: Afghan authorities have imposed a ban on the supply of goats, rams and sheep to Pakistan ahead of Eidul Azha, resulting in tremendous rise in the prices of these sacrificial animals in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) province, which shares a border with Afghanistan.

Due to this suspension of supply, the price of a single ram or goat has risen by Rs20,000 to Rs30,000 in the cattle and livestock markets of Peshawar, the K-P’s provincial capital.

Traditionally, truckloads of sacrificial animals – particularly rams, sheep and goats–are transported into Pakistan from Afghanistan through border crossings ahead of the Eid and thousands of traders on both sides of the border make a good profit through this trade during this season.

However, the Afghan government has not yet granted permission to its traders so far to sell their animals to their counterparts in Pakistan in what is described by some as a major setback to the traders.

Some traders say no consignment of sacrificial animals has arrived in Pakistan from the Torkham border crossing in Khyber district and the Kharlachi border crossing in Kurram district.

They said animals are being supplied from Chaman border crossing in Balochistan but it costs the traders a considerable amount of money to transport these animals to the K-P and its provincial capital.

Sharif is a trader who brings a shipping container full of rams from Afghanistan ahead of Eidul Azha. According to Sharif, due to a ban on supply of livestock to Pakistan, the price of every ram or goat has risen by Rs20,000 to Rs30,000 in the local markets.

The border force and security personnel deployed at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border crossing at Torkham said no big vehicle or truck carrying livestock has crossed into Pakistan during the last few weeks.

Sources in Kurram police said animals were not transported into Pakistan from Kharlachi either.

The animals available in the markets of the merged districts—that constituted the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) previously—are also local animals and have not come from Afghanistan, said a trader from one of the merged districts.

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