GILGIT: China has agreed to keep the Khunjerab Pass functional throughout the year for trade and travel activities, a PPP leader from Gilgit-Baltistan has claimed.

Amjad Hussain, who is the party’s regional president, told Dawn that Chinese authorities had also agreed to relax restrictions on the import of several items from Pakistan.

Mr Hussain, who met Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in Islamabad last week, said the land route between Pakistan and China would remain open throughout the year.

It was a long-standing demand of the GB people to keep the Khunjerab Pass open, Mr Hussain told Dawn, adding that he had requested the foreign minister to take up the matter with the Chinese authorities.

Local PPP leader claims China agreed to keep border operational

The foreign minister has assured that the border will remain open for trade and travel activities, said Mr Hussain, who is also the opposition leader in the GB assembly.

He said this will not only contribute to the local economy but also benefit the entire country.

According to authorities, arrangements have been made to keep the Pass open throughout the year. They said snow removal machines have been placed by the Chinese government to remove snow for a smooth flow of traffic during winter.

Currently, trade and travel through the Khunjerab Pass, the world’s highest paved road, is carried out from April to December.

Import of Pakistani cherries

China has decided to carry out inspections of orchards in GB to import the fruit.

China’s General Administration of Customs will carry out compliance inspections of orchards and cold storage in Pakistan through video links. This was recently conveyed by the Chinese embassy in Pakistan to the Ministry of National Food Security through a letter.

Earlier, the ministry signed a protocol agreement with Chinese Customs on phytosanitary requirements for the export of fresh cherries to China.

Published in Dawn, May 2nd, 2023

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