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    Road service starts between Central Asia and Pak

    More good news good for business.

    NLC begins road service to Central Asia: First cargo reaches Tashkent


    By Tariq Saeedi

    ASHKABAD, July 4: "NLC has started road cargo service to Central Asian Countries and a trial shipment of cargo by NLC has already reached Tashkent," Major General Syed Haider Javaid of NLC told Dawn in an exclusive talk here.

    He is heading a delegation on an exploratory mission to Iran, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. "This is a breakthrough for Pakistani businessmen because before this there was no reliable road cargo service between Pakistan and CARs," said Gen. Javaid.

    He also informed Dawn that a high level team of NLC, including himself, Brigadier Liaqat Rashid and Col (R) Ali Safdar, has travelled by road from Quetta to Zahidan-Qochan-Tehran to find first hand the stumbling blocks and bottlenecks in transportation of cargo by road from Pakistan to Iran and CARs. This afternoon he will leave by road from Ashkabad for Mashhad to complete the full circle of his fact-finding mission.

    "Observations made during this long road trip will help us formulate recommendations for the approval of President Musharraf," said Gen Javaid.

    NLC has already appointed its agents in Zahidan, Mashhad, Tehran, Ashkabad and Tashkent. "Soon, NLC plans to introduce one-window operation for exporters," said Brig Rashid who looks after NLC operations in Quetta. The exporters will just have to hand over their cargo and NLC will do everything for them including customs clearance, transit formalities and other documentation involved in the process. "It will be a warehouse-to-warehouse service," said Brig Rashid.

    To ensure the safety of cargo, NLC will arrange for overnight stay of its vehicles only at such places in Pakistan where Frontier Constabulary is stationed in the vicinity. However, exporters will have to arrange insurance cover of cargo from their own sources.

    Answering a question, Gen Javaid said, "We have a very potent and effective system to ensure that our staff does not indulge in any movement of contraband items including narcotics."

    A number of Pakistani products such as medicines, shoes, textile garments, leather garments and made-ups and fresh fruit are very popular in the Central Asian countries.

    Arrival of a transport giant like NLC in this sector means that Pakistani goods can eventually reach Turkey and Europe by road.

    Gen S. Haider Javaid said, "Quetta Dry Port will begin its operation on August 1 this year; it will open multiple land routes for Pakistani exporters."

    He said: "With a network of authorized agents in all the major trade centres of Central Asia and Iran, NLC is geared to handle any cargo from Pakistan to CARs and vice-versa."

    Speaking about freight charges, Gen Javaid said these were being worked out. "We are sure to be competitive with any cargo company in the field because we operate on very nominal profits," added Brig Rashid.

    NLC has promised to carry cargo from Lahore to Tashkent in 11 Days and from Quetta to Tashkent in 8 days.

    Brig Rashid said NLC had carried out a successful experiment to prove that Pakistani mangoes could survive for more than 15 days in arduous road conditions.

    He said: "We carried a number of cartons of mangoes with us from Badin to Tehran. From Badin to Quetta the mangoes were transported by train and from Quetta to Tehran by road, involving a total time period of 15 days. At each step we carefully observed and photographed the cartons to find any signs of rot," he said. He said when the cartons were finally opened in Teheran after 15 days of a rough journey under hot sun, they were still fresh and in excellent shape.

    "I am sure that mangoes can survive up to 17 days under typical road conditions without any temperature controlled container," he added.


    #2
    Great news too,.....from Business point of view,..Pakistani products will have access to central Asian Markets and vice versa.This was a long over-due,..but thanx God eventually Its happening...for exploring more business opportunities,......

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    A Faith that cannot survive collision with the truth is not worth many regrets.

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      #3
      good news

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