Pak-China border trade to restart next week after three-year hiatus

Border remained due to Covid restrictions, harsh weather
<p>Khunjrab Pass - AFP/File</p>

Khunjrab Pass - AFP/File

Pakistan and China are set to resume trade from April 1 through Khunjrab Pass - the only land route between the two countries - as both countries agreed to reopen the border after almost three years of suspension due to the COVID-19 outbreak to facilitate the local traders.

While all-weather friends have chalked out final preparations to reopen the border crossing for bilateral trade and other activities as part of the CPEC.

The pass was shut down for all trade activities in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, it was briefly opened to allow imports from China, but despite a decrease in cases and the revival of trading activities globally, the border stayed sealed.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office has confirmed that the Khunjerab Border between Islamabad and Beijing is to be reopened in two stages. Imports from China have already resumed, with the second phase allowing exports from Pakistan set to begin on April 1.

Rana Mohammad Saleem Afzal, the Home Secretary of Gilgit Baltistan, informed Dawn that officials of both sides had come to an agreement to reopen the Khunjerab Pass for trading and travel purposes starting Monday (April 3). The process of issuing border passes will begin shortly.

He further stated that this was an extremely important move as it was the route for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and that the consignments from China would now enter Pakistan through Khunjerab Pass.


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