Pak, Afghanistan to open key trade route on June 22

Pakistani and Afghan officials have agreed to reopen a key route for cross-border trade between the two countries from June 22, aiming to give a major boost to bilateral trade.

Pakistan had closed the Ghulam Khan border in North Waziristan in June 2014 after the military launched a major operation against militants in the area, and conducted trial run for reopening the border crossing in March 2018, reports Xinhua news agency.

Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Atif Mashal confirmed to Xinhua on Thursday evening that Pakistan had agreed to open the Ghulam Khan crossing point on January 22.

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

He said Afghan traders will also export their fresh fruits via other border crossings of Torkham and Chaman in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces of Pakistan.

“It is the peak time for Afghan exports of fresh fruits and vegetables as both are now ready for export,” the Afghan envoy said.

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 to contain the spread of the disease.

Drivers and cleaners will undergo tests at the quarantine centres established on both sides of the border.