KP government bans transport of cattle to Afghanistan ahead of Eid Al-Adha

The Kala Mandi cattle market in Peshawar. (AN photo)
Updated 10 August 2018
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KP government bans transport of cattle to Afghanistan ahead of Eid Al-Adha

  • In a crackdown on the smuggling of cattle to Afghanistan, authorities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have dispatched teams to monitor less-frequented routes in the Shalman and Tirah areas
  • The provincial government ordered a ban on the transport of cattle and and food to Afghanistan, which has caused scarcity and price increases for local people

PESHAWAR: The provincial government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has launched a crackdown on the illegal transport of cattle to Afghanistan, in an attempt to control the rising price of livestock in local markets in the run-up to Eid Al-Adha.
Teams have been sent to the Takhta Beg checkpoint in the Jamrud subdivision of the tribal district to prevent the smuggling of animals, said Syed Masoom Ali Shah, director of the KP Directorate of Livestock and Diary Development.
“The ban on cattle transportation is not new; it had been enforced by the federal government since September 2013,” he added. “But some people still managed to smuggle cattle to Afghanistan through less-frequented routes in the Tirah and Shalman valleys in KP tribal district.”
Dost Muhammad Khan, the chief Minister of KP, on Monday ordered a ban on export of cattle and foodstuffs to Afghanistan from KP, because it was causing shortages and price increases for people in the province, given the high demand during Eid Al-Adha.
The livestock directorate has also set up nine teams to regularly spray animals at cattle markets to prevent the spread of Congo virus.
“In Peshawar alone there are about seven cattle markets and our mobile teams regularly visit and spray the animals at all the markets,” said Shah.
Afghanistan exports sheep to Pakistan but KP supplies buffaloes and cows to Afghanistan, he added.
“For the sheep transported to Pakistan from Afghanistan, we have our experts who check the animals’ health and then allow their transportation into Pakistan,” he explained.
Arbab Saadullah Khan, the owner of Kala Mandi, a major cattle market in Peshawar, welcomed the government crackdown.
“It will definitely lower cattle prices in Peshawar and other parts of KP,” said Khan, a former member of the National Assembly. Most of the cattle in his market come from Multan, Bahawalpur, Gujranwala and other locations in Punjab. “Most of the cattle markets in KP, including Peshawar, receive livestock from Punjab,” he added.
Niaz Muhammad, assistant commissioner of the Landikotal subdivision of Khyber tribal district, said that cattle smuggling had been curbed at the border with fencing.
“Border routes in Shalman and Tirah, through which the cattle used to be smuggled to Afghanistan, have been fenced,” he said. “In the wake of a recent directive by the KP chief minister, the surveillance of these routes has been further strengthened through the paramilitary FC (Frontier Corps) personnel deployed there now.”
Cattle that are seized are often sold at auction because smugglers are usually unable to afford the fines that are imposed, said Muhammad.
Behramand Khan, a spokesman for the KP chief minister, said that the provincial government has directed all divisional commissioners and tribal district deputy commissioners to closely monitor the borders with Afghanistan to prevent smuggling of cattle.
“The KP chief minister himself is monitoring the issue and has asked the deputy commissioners, particularly of those of the tribal districts bordering Afghanistan, to update him on daily basis,” he added.


King Salman holds bilateral talks with Alvi

Updated 12 December 2018
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King Salman holds bilateral talks with Alvi

  • Both leaders reviewed matters of mutual interest, including trade ties and investment opportunities
  • President welcomed Kingdom's initiative to increase Pakistani pilgrims' quota to 5,000

ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz received Pakistan's President Arif Alvi at the Yamama palace in Riyadh on Wednesday, a statement released by the president’s office read.
During the meeting, the two leaders discussed matters of mutual interest, bilateral ties, trade, investment, and economic relations.
Pakistan’s acting ambassador in Riyadh, Zeeshan Ahmed, and consul general in Jeddah, Sheheryar Akbar Khan also accompanied the president in the meeting.
President Alvi was received by the governor of Riyadh, Prince Faisal bin Bandar when he arrived in the capital from Madinah.
The president reached Saudi Arabia on Sunday to perform Umrah, marking his first visit to the Kingdom since assuming office in September this year.
Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan, Nawaf bin Saeed Al-Malki also accompanied the president on his journey.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Press Information Department (PID) tweeted on Wednesday that the Minister for Religious Affairs, Noor ul Haq Qadri -- who is also in Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah -- met with President Alvi in Madinah and briefed him about the ongoing talks with the Saudi authorities pertaining to the Hajj agreements.
“President welcomed additional 5,000 quota for Pakistani pilgrims granted by Saudi govt,” a statement released by the PID read.
On Monday, both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement to increase the annual Hajj quota for Pakistan in 2019.
Targeting an increase of 5,000 pilgrims next year, authorities said nearly 184,210 Pakistanis will be able to perform Hajj.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy close bilateral relations, with historic trade ties and religious affinity providing a strong basis of trust between the two countries.