Pakistan and China have announced plans to reopen the Khunjerab Pass, the only land passage between the two countries, for bilateral trading and other operations. The decision comes after a three-year border closure due to the COVID-19 epidemic, which severely affected local trade.
As part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), both governments have finalized plans to reopen the border checkpoint in two stages. China’s imports have already resumed, while exports from Pakistan are set to begin on 1 April.
Last year, the pass was temporarily reopened for imports from China, despite the pandemic. However, authorities from both sides have now agreed to properly reopen the borders for commercial and transit reasons. According to Gilgit Baltistan’s Home Secretary, Rana Mohammad Saleem Afzal, the Khunjerab Pass will reopen on Monday, 3 April.
The Khunjerab Pass serves as the gateway for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Shipments from China will now enter Pakistan through this pass, and the process of awarding border permits will begin soon. This move is expected to boost trade and economic activity between the two nations.
The reopening of the Khunjerab Pass is a significant step for Pakistan and China, as it demonstrates their commitment to strengthening their economic ties despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. The CPEC is a vital component of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and the reopening of the Khunjerab Pass is expected to further enhance trade and connectivity between the two nations.
In conclusion, the resumption of commerce over the Khunjerab Pass is a positive development for Pakistan and China. The reopening of the border checkpoint is expected to boost bilateral trade and economic activity, and further strengthen their strategic partnership.