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Key trade route between Pakistan, Afghanistan reopens

Ghulam Khan crossing point of Pak-Afghan border reopens on trial basis

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has reopened a key border crossing with Afghanistan after a gap of three years in a bid to boost trade between the two countries, officials confirmed.

The Ghulam Khan border, the third major crossing point with Afghanistan in North Waziristan tribal region, was closed in June 2014 after the security forces launched a major operation against the Pakistani Taliban and foreign militants in North Waziristan.

Ghulam Khan Crossing is one of the 18 border crossings between the two countries that connects Pakistan’s northwestern North Waziristan tribal region with northeastern Khost province of Afghanistan.

The political administration of North Waziristan tribal agency said in a statement the first trade convoy had been dispatched to Afghanistan after a lapse of three years.

“Restoration of trade activities via Ghulam Khan border is not only in the national interest but it will open new economic opportunities for the people of North Waziristan,” the statement said.

“This is also a message of peace and friendship between the two brotherly countries.”

The move came after a nearly 50 percent reported decrease — from $2.7 billion to $1.4 billion — in bilateral trade between the two countries in the last two years.

The initiative has been welcomed by the business community of both countries.

Pakistan and Afghanistan have a transit agreement, signed in 1960s and revised in 2010, to allow landlocked Afghanistan imports through Karachi port.

 

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