New border crossings

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AT the second meeting of Pakistan-Iran Higher Border Commission, established back in 2017, the two sides agreed to expedite the opening of new border crossings and ensure effective border management. The meeting took place following Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Tehran this year during which both the sides made visible progress on border issues.
Geographical proximity and close brotherly relations rooted in historical, cultural and religious commonalities offer huge potential to enhance mutual trade and economic cooperation for the benefit of the two nations. In this backdrop, the agreement to open new border crossings definitely is a positive development which will go a long way in promoting people-to-people contacts as well as promotion of trade relations between the two countries. The initiative will especially facilitate the population residing on both sides of the border and contribute towards improvement of the economic situation of local residents with the opening of border markets as well. Having said so, it is also important that both the sides do the needful to foil the nefarious designs of both criminal elements and the smuggling mafia at the crossing points. Their acts should not be allowed to create irritants in bilateral relations. It is heartening to note that the two neighbours have lately cooperated extensively for improving border security by undertaking several measures. During the meeting between PM Imran Khan and Iranian President Hasan Rouhani, both sides had agreed to establish rapid reaction force to fight criminals and terrorists. Since the formation of this force will allow joint operation and patrolling of the border area, the force must be established at the earliest to collectively crush the forces which in fact are inimical to Pak-Iran friendship. Then, the two sides need to stay focused on greater engagement at different levels with the aim to exploit opportunities of cooperation that exist in different sectors. Developing connectivity and transit corridors especially linking Gwadar and Chabahar ports will help accelerate and facilitate bilateral and regional cooperation and trade.