LANDIKOTAL - The shopkeepers and wholesalers of daily commodities in Landikotal and Torkham have urged Pakistan and Afghan governments to peacefully resolve the gate installation issue, as their businesses are going in losses due to the closure of the Torkham border for the last four days. Sharif Khan, a groceries wholesaler in Landikotal bazaar, told this correspondent that his ninety percent of customers were from Afghanistan.

He said foods and other commodities being made in Pakistan had a good market in Afghanistan.

He said shopkeepers in Marco, Nazyan,Ghanikhel, Dakah,Goroko and Lalpura bazaars used to visit Landikotal bazaar and purchase items of daily use of million of rupees.

Sharif said his daily sale was around 0.1 million rupees before the border was closed. “Now my sales have come down to 10 to 15 thousands rupees only,” he said.

The shopkeeper said like him other shopkeepers, including those running hotels and bakeries owners, were also suffering losses due to the border tensions.

“My 0.5 million rupees were debited with the Afghan shopkeepers, but they cannot come to pay me now,” he deplored. Farzand Shinwari, a contractor at Torkham taxi stand, said that he had to pay rent to owner of the land daily. “Since the border is closed, I have to pay the due amount every day to the owner as per agreement,” he informed. Kamran Mian, who sales auto tyres, batteries and spare parts in Torkham bazaar said that most of his customers were Afghan truckers and taxi drivers, plying on both sides of the border.

He said his one million rupees were stuck with the Afghan truck owners and other shopkeepers in Afghanistan.  “Dealers in Peshawar, Lahore and Rawalpindi are also suffering due to the border closure,” he added. Shaukat Shinwari, a godown owner in Landikotal bazaar, told this scribe that he had closed his godowns, as businessmen had stopped sending goods from Afghanistan to deposit with him.