FPCCI opposes prolonged closure of Khunjerab border

Published November 30, 2021
This file photo taken on Sep 29, 2015 shows tourists leaving the Khunjerab Pass, the world's highest paved border crossing at 4,600 metres above sea level, near the Pakistan-China border. — AFP/File
This file photo taken on Sep 29, 2015 shows tourists leaving the Khunjerab Pass, the world's highest paved border crossing at 4,600 metres above sea level, near the Pakistan-China border. — AFP/File

GILGIT: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FPCCI) has demanded of Prime Minister Imran Khan to address grievances of the GB business community in wake of the prolonged closure of Khunjerab border.

According to a letter sent by the FPCCI’s capital office in-charge Qurban Ali to the premier on Monday, Khunjerab border had been closed for last two years, causing immense financial hardships to the business community.

It said the region’s business community was dependent on trade with China as there was no other industry in there. The business community, transporters, hotel owners and labourers in GB were financially suffering due to closure of the Khunjerab pass.

It pointed out that the trade volume through Khunjerab border had decrea­sed, which needed to be addressed at an appropriate forum.

The FPCCI letter said under the border agreement reached between Pakistan and China in 1986, the border remained closed for five winter months despite the fact that the road remained pliable around the year. Therefore, it requested the prime minister to revise the agreement so that border was kept open round the year.

The letter highlighted that GB tourism industry was yet to benefit from Chinese tourists as they were not allowed to visit GB through the Khunjerab pass.

It requested the prime minister to take up the issue with the Chinese president. It explained that the volume of exports from Pakistan to China was minimal or non-existent because the Chinese side had very strict quarantine protocols and certification requirements which Pakistan products seldom fulfilled.

The letter pointed out that GB businessmen were not part of official delegations visiting foreign countries, and called for making GB Chamber of Commerce and Industry part of official delegations on foreign visits.

Published in Dawn, November 30th, 2021

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