Asia Calling, Kabul and Peshawar - Boycott videos like this have gone viral in Afghanistan. This woman holds a bottle of famous Pakistani-made soft drink.
“I request all people of Afghanistan to boycott Pakistan products since Pakistan exceeds war and terrorism in our country. Don’t drink Pakistani drinks but instead drink simple water,” she said then poured the soda down the sink.
Soon after the videos, protests kicked off on streets in major cities in Afghanistan. They shouted against Pakistan - while some angry mob torched Pakistan’s flag.
They blame Pakistan for a suicide bomb in Kabul last August which rore than 50 people were killed and hundreds were wounded. The Afghan President has implied Pakistan was involved in the Kabul attack.
University student Edrees Latifi was among the protesters, said, “I know the boycott will affect common men since the rich use expensive products from Europe and other countries, while the poor and middle class people only use Pakistani products. But still I support boycotting Pakistani products.”
Pakistan responded to the boycott by applying restrictions for trucks traveling from Afghanistan to India.
“The boycott has affected our business first of all and the impact will fall on others too. The two countries should develop business relations rather than boycotting products to strengthen ties,” explained Custom Clearance Agent on Pak-Afghan border, Sajjad Khan.
Afghanistan and Pakistan are close trade partners. Walid Khan is a Pakistani businessman who exports different products to Afghanistan. He said the boycott will only hurt back Afghan people.
“There is no production of items in Afghanistan and it takes weeks to reach export items to Afghanistan from Iran and other neighboring states, while it takes only 48 hours from Pakistan," he said.
Several small restaurants on the Pakistan-Afghanistan road have been struggling since the trade route being more strict recently. Gulbat Khan and his family have been earning a living from it for the last ten years.
“The boycott will stop trucks movement on the road which has the only source of income. It will be simply destruction of income, wealth and family living which I can’t afford at this crucial financial crunch time,” he said, adding he hopes the boycott will stop soon.
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