Khunjerab Pass reopened for Pak-China trade after 3 years of closure

Khunjerab Pass reopened

The famous Khunjerab Pass, a major trade route between the two brotherly neighbouring countries, Pakistan and China, has been reopened after a closure of almost three years in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Khunjerab Pass connects Gilgit-Baltistan of Pakistan with China’s Xinjiang, the Uyghur autonomous region, which had been closed in the year 2020 after the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The Pakistani state-run APP reported that the Chinese authorities had shared a letter with Pakistani officials regarding the reopening of the pass for trade.

The port authorities on the Chinese side of Khunjerab Pass have been instructed to take all necessary measures regarding Covid-19 before the start of the arrival of goods from Pakistan.

Under an agreement, trade and travel activities between the two countries through the Khunjerab Pass start on the Ist of April and close on 30 November, while there was a daily bus service from Sost Valley of Gilgit-Baltistan to Xinjiang province of China.

This arrangement under the framework of CPEC was going well since November 2016 but had to be discontinued in November 2019 as part of the measures to contain the Coronavirus.

Reopening of Khunjerab Pass

As the situation improved, there was increasing demand from the people of GB to open the border point both for travel and trade as the closure rendered thousands of people jobless, according to some estimates, about 70% local population depended on the border trade for their livelihood.

Reopening the border trade would not only boost the local economy in GB but also lead to an increase in the volume of bilateral trade between the two countries.

There was also a welcome statement from Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar that the government had been working for the revival of CPEC activities and all hurdles in the way of bilateral trade would be removed.