Pak-China border crossing at Khunjerab Pass will be opened tomorrow (Tuesday) for 10 days.
According to an official notification, the border is being opened to evacuate stranded containers from China to Gilgit-Baltistan. Tourists will not be allowed to travel through border crossing during this period, it added.
“Only loaded and stranded containers of traders and containers carrying hydropower machinery of a power house in Hunza district will enter into Pakistan during these 10 days,” the notification read. “No container will go to China from Pakistan and all Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) will be strictly observed during the trade.”
At 5,000 meters above sea level, the Khunjerab border post is the highest paved international crossing in the world, a major trade route between China and Pakistan, and an important gateway to South Asia and Europe. China mainly imports textiles, agricultural products and daily commodities through the pass, besides exporting plants and herbs.
The border outpost on the Karakoram Highway usually remains open for trade and travel from May till November-end every year, after which it closes for almost five months in winter. But Pakistani containers have now been stranded in China since December 2019, when the border closed for the winter months, following which all frontiers, including Khunjerab, were indefinitely closed to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
China News Network reported in December 2019 that cargo import and export had reached 66,600 tonnes during 2019 at Khunjerab Pass in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, up 46.8pc from the year before.