Khunjerab Pass reopens, renewing Pak-China trade links

The pass had been closed since December 1, 2023, due to adverse weather conditions

Trade between Pakistan and China recommenced on Monday as 15 trucks laden with goods crossed into Pakistan from China through the Khunjerab Pass, ending a four-month hiatus.

The pass, a pivotal trade route, had been closed since December 1, 2023, due to adverse weather conditions.

Khurram Zafar, Chief Executive Officer of AJ International Cargo China to Pakistan, was present to receive the trade convoys alongside local political figures.

A ceremony marked the reopening of the border, attended by dignitaries such as former Gilgit Assembly member Javed Hussain, ex-provincial minister Muhammad Baqir, and former provincial finance minister Muhammad Ali Akhtar, as well as a host of business representatives from across Pakistan, including Gilgit-Baltistan.

The initial shipment consisted of 15 containers carrying commercial goods destined for major Pakistani cities like Lahore, Rawalpindi, and Karachi.

In the previous year, the pass facilitated the transfer of over 400 containers into Pakistan over a six-month period, generating significant customs revenue of approximately Rs5.45 billion, according to Zafar.

The resumption of trade is anticipated to boost local employment opportunities.

Javed Hussain appealed to the federal government for the pass to remain open year-round to facilitate continuous commercial activity.

The Khunjerab Pass serves as a crucial link between Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China.

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