ISLAMABAD - The government of Pakistan Tuesday formally announced to delay the implementation of Afghan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) for a period of four months, as Afghan government made objections on the bank guarantees, which were introduced to curb smuggling. Afghanistan termed the issue of bank guarantee as a unilateral decision by Pakistan and demanded that Afghan banks will give this guarantee, which is contrary to the agreement signed by the two countries, said Secretary Commerce, Zafar Mahmood during a press conference. Bank guarantee is part of the original agreement and it is not possible to change any clause of the agreement at a technical-level meeting, he added. The APTTA was set to be functional from February 12 last, however due to concerns raised by Afghanistan, it has been delayed for a period of four months, he further said. The Afghan side raised their concerns during the first meeting of Afghan-Pakistan Transit Trade Coordination Authoritys held on Friday and Saturday last. Both the sides agreed to convene the second meeting of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Coordination Authority in six weeks for reaching an agreement on implementation of the treaty. It may be mentioned here that in line with the international practice, it was made mandatory in the new transit law for Afghan importers to deposit a bank guarantee equivalent to duty and taxes on goods with Pakistani authorities. Zafar further said that both the countries needed time to introduce biometric and tracking systems in order to curb smuggling. He hoped that all related issues would be resolved in the four months period. The govt is working to rationalise the regulatory duty to discourage the smuggling. and this proposal would be introduced in the annual budget 2011-12. On a query, the secretary commerce said that Pakistan was working to sign trade agreements with those countries to which Islamabad got access after signing APTTA. The ministry of commerce did not give any side letter regarding involvement of India in APTTA, he added. The member custom, Federal Board of Revenue who was also present in the press conference, said that main reason behind corruption was enforcement and the government was working in this regard.