Trade and Livelihoods in the Afghanistan-Pakistan Borderlands
Network, X-Border Local Research; aid, UK; acsor | August 2019
Securing borders and regulating cross-border trade is a key challenge for the Afghan State. Border security is inseparable from the larger war effort: insurgents continue to move easily across borders, taking advantage of terrain, ineffective border controls and tribal connections. In border areas, a vast share of the local population makes a living from both licit and illicit trade, much of which evades taxation. In order to deliver services, assure security and shore up its legitimacy, the Afghan state would have to improve its capacity to deny entry to militants and collect customs duties and taxes. However, taming corruption and enforcing stricter border controls in conflict-affected areas are daunting tasks. Restricting cross-border movement would also affect the livelihoods of millions of Afghans in some of the country’s most contested regions, potentially undermining efforts to restore peace. In June 2016, Pakistani authorities started enforcing stricter controls along the border, ostensibly in response to insurgent attacks in Pakistan. Incoming Afghans must now present a valid passport and visa at official border crossings. In addition, Pakistan is fencing the border: as of January 2019, approximately 900 km had been completed. Pakistan has on occasion shut down the border for several days or weeks at a stretch.
CitationNetwork, X-Border Local Research; aid, UK; acsor. 2019. Trade and Livelihoods in the Afghanistan-Pakistan Borderlands. © The Asia Foundation. http://hdl.handle.net/11540/11224.
Regional Economic Integration
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