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After 3 years, Pak China trade is restored, Khunjrab Bypass to open tomorrow

MS Baig

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After 3 years, the Pak China trade is restored, Khunjrab Bypass to open tomorrow (on Monday).

The Interior Secretary of Gilgit-Baltistan has confirmed that official trade between the two countries is starting from April 3.

With the decision to resume trade and travel activities between Pakistan and China, the Gilgit-Baltistan government has started receiving applications for border passes from traders.

Trade between the two neighboring countries through the Khunjerab Pass has been suspended for more than 3 years.

Gilgit-Baltistan Interior Secretary Rana Muhammad Saleem Afzal confirmed that official trade between the two countries is starting from April 3.

He said that with the decision to resume trade, traders have started applying for border passes.

“Our home department has started receiving applications from traders.”

Pak China trade and CPEC:

The business chambers of all the districts have asked the traders to submit important documents related to the trade.

According to him, local businessmen were going bankrupt after a gap of about four years because three lakh families from the border pass take part in trade from Gilgit-Baltistan to China.

Traders who want to trade between the two countries during Ramadan will have to do so through passports.

The Interior Secretary said that if the border is opened, the movement of delegations from both sides will start.

Trade activities between Pakistan and China through the Khunjrab Pass were suspended in November 2019 due to the Corona epidemic.

Rana Muhammad Salim Afzal said that despite the closure, there was traffic from both sides through trawlers during this period.

After four years, the Chinese authorities have said that trade can now be resumed under normal conditions as it was before Covid.

He said that the event to restore trade was to be held in China, but it has been canceled due to unknown reasons.

Now trade will officially start from April 3, which will benefit not only Pakistan but also the people of Gilgit-Baltistan. This will boost bilateral trade between Pakistan and China.

According to Pakistani media reports, under an agreement, trade activities between the two countries through the Khunjrab Pass will continue from April to November.

The first trade activity between China and Pakistan under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) began in November 2016 through the Karakoram Highway, also known as the Silk Route, which passes through the Khunjarab Pass.

Interior Secretary Rana Muhammad Saleem Afzal said that the process of issuing border passes (permits to cross the border) will be started soon.

“The most important aspect is that this is the CPEC route and under the same Belt and Road Initiative, commercial consignments will enter Pakistan from China through Khunjrab Pass,” he added.

Khunjrab border closed for a year, loss of billions of rupees to traders

CPEC is the flagship project of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, under which Beijing is building a network of roads, railways, pipelines, and ports in Pakistan at a cost of $65 billion.

The initiative aims to connect China with Pakistan’s ports and enable Islamabad to expand and modernize its economy and meet its critical energy needs, as well as a short-haul for Chinese goods to the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia. The best way is to provide.

Pakistani media quoted Pakistan’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar as saying that the federal government is working to revive CPEC activities and all obstacles to bilateral trade will be removed.

Due to the prolonged closure of the Khanjarab Pass, the local business community faced a lot of financial difficulties, which also rendered thousands of workers jobless.

According to media reports, this important border crossing was opened for the transport of emergency cargo from China to Pakistan, sometimes only for a few days during the last three years.

All arrangements have been finalized by both sides to reopen this border crossing for bilateral trade and other activities under CPEC.

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