QUETTA: Pakistan opened another terminal for trade with Afghanistan at the Pak-Afghan border in Balochistan’s Qila Saifullah district on Wednesday.
Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani inaugurated the trade terminal in the border area of Badini. Commander of Southern Command Lt Gen Mohammad Wasim Ashraf, Inspector General of Frontier Corps North Maj Gen Fayyaz Hussain Shah, provincial ministers, MPAs and other officials attended the inauguration ceremony.
The business community, Chamber of Commerce and Industry and importers and exporters had been demanding the opening of a new terminal for trade between the two counties at Badini for a long time as the Chaman gateway was overburdened due to the Afghan transit trade, import and export and Nato supply for the US troops stationed in Afghanistan.
Balochistan CM says new corridor will boost economic activities, create jobs for locals
Speaking at the ceremony, Chief Minister Alyani said the opening of the new trade terminal and establishment of markets in the border areas of Balochistan would boost economic activities and create job opportunities for the local people. He said the government had decided to open the Badini trade terminal keeping in view the long-standing demand of the business community of Balochistan and the FC North had played an important role in this regard.
“The Balochistan government will play its due role in the success of the new trade terminal,” he said, adding that all help and cooperation would be provided to the institutions concerned at the administration level in this regard.
CM Alyani praised the Pakistan Army and Frontier Corps for launching a project for fencing the border with Afghanistan.
He said that with the opening of the new terminal, people would get more trade opportunities and business with Afghanistan. He urged the business community to improve trade relations with their Afghan counterparts so that they could get maximum benefit from the new trade corridor.
He said the Balochistan government was making comprehensive planning for promotion of economic activities and had included job-oriented projects in the current financial year’s budget.
“People will feel positive change with the completion of these projects,” he said. “We have to accept that we all were responsible for the backwardness of the province and Balochistan could not progress due to wrong planning and the absence of a proper strategy. We must give priority to the people’s interest while taking any decision. Issues can never be solved by catchwords or heart-rending slogans; need of the hour is to take concrete steps and set targets.”
The chief minister said the biggest problem of Balochistan was communications, adding that his government was focusing on road networks. He said that 2,500 kilometres of roads had been constructed during the last financial year, while the construction of a 3,000km road network was this year’s target.
Lt Gen Waseem Ashraf termed the opening of Badini trade terminal a good step and said it would increase trade activities between Pakistan and Afghanistan. He said the army, FC and Balochistan government made joint efforts for establishing the new terminal to facilitate traders, the business community and people living in the border areas.
Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2020