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Pakistan reopens Ghulam Khan Border, closed in June 2014, for commerce trial

Pakistan reopens Ghulam Khan Border, closed in June 2014, for commerce trial

PESHAWAR: The Government of Pakistan has reopened the Ghulam Khan Border with Afghanistan on Friday for testing the trade potential.

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 Taliban militants and their foreign hosts in the area.

An official told Customs Today that it was planned to reopen the border on trial basis for a week on March 9 for trade and people to cross the border. However sources said Pakistani side needs more time to ensure that immigration, customs and other facilities are available at the time of the border reopening.

Pakistan had introduced the passport and visa system for those who enter Pakistan in 2016 via Torkham, the biggest crossing between the two countries. Officials say the same system will also be introduced at the Chaman, the second largest point and other notified and designated crossings.

Officials say the Ghulam Khan Border point, which will have modern facilities, could become the biggest trade route as containers that bring Afghan transit items from Karachi port would use this crossing instead of Torkham.

North Waziristan Border Afghanistan’s eastern Khost province and Pakistani trucks could move up to Kabul and other cities but it depends on the understanding between the two countries. Current political tensions have badly affected the bilateral and transit trade.

Pakistan and Afghanistan signed a transit agreement in the 1960s and revised it in 2010 to allow the landlocked Afghanistan to import through Karachi port.

The Customs officials said that the trade activities among both countries will be increased after a full-fledged operation of business along this route and expressed the hope for boos in the revenue collection of customs exchequer.