Pakistan, Afghanistan to reopen key trade route on June 22

Afghan envoy says Islamabad has agreed to open Ghulam Khan crossing point next Monday


Xinhua June 19, 2020
Afghan envoy says Islamabad has agreed to open Ghulam Khan crossing point next Monday. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani and Afghan officials have agreed to reopen a key route for cross-border trade between the two neighbouring countries starting next Monday, aiming to give a major boost to bilateral trade as it will facilitate economic activities in both countries.

The government had closed the Ghulam Khan border in North Waziristan tribal district in June, 2014 after the military launched a major operation against local and foreign militants in the area, and conducted trial run for reopening the border crossing in March, 2018.

Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Atif Mashal confirmed to Xinhua Thursday evening that Islamabad had agreed to open the Ghulam Khan crossing point next Monday.

He said that Ghulam Khan crossing will be opened for exports and imports, becoming the third major route for bilateral trade between the two countries.

The envoy also said that Afghan traders will also export their fresh fruits via other border crossings of Torkham and Chaman.

"It is the peak time for Afghan exports of fresh fruits and vegetables as both are now ready for export," the Afghan ambassador added.

A Pakistani official in North Waziristan tribal district, bordering Afghanistan, told the media in the region that officials of the two countries had agreed on arrangements for the cross-border trade in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Officials agreed that truck drivers and all involved in the trade will follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to contain the spread of the disease. Drivers and cleaners will undergo tests at the quarantine centres established on both sides of the border.

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