QUETTA: Tribal elders and businesspersons of Qila Saifullah have welcomed the opening of the Badini crossing point between Pakistan and Afghanistan for trade and immigration.

The Balochistan government’s decision to formally open the route will allow trading with central Asian states, they said on Monday.

While speaking at a press conference Haji Nazimuddin Kakar, Malik Bashir Malazai and others said that the business community and tribal elders had been demanding the opening of Badini crossing since it was inaugurated by then-chief minister Jam Kamal Khan in September 2020.

They said that locals had provided 300 acres of private land to the Federal Board of Revenue free of cost for constructing terminals and roads after the inauguration.

Urge govt to build roads, provide power to facilitate business activity

The terminal paid immediate dividends as the Customs exceeded its revenue collection target from trade.

However, authorities stopped the work on Badini trade terminal in July 2021 and since then it has not been used for trade with Afghanistan.

“We are very happy with the opening of Badini crossing point for regular trade and immigration,” Mr Kakar said.

He added the business community was not in fa­­vour of closing any crossing points and demanded all crossings between Pakistan and Afghanistan be used for trade.

They said that the business community and tribes wanted free trade from the Badini border in line with the laws.

Mr Kakar requested all traders of Balochistan to use the Badini terminal for their trade as it offered a shorter route than all other crossing points.

He also urged the government to finish the remaining construction work, lay down roads, power and telephone infrastructure and provide other facilities for the terminal.

“Afghanistan has also started the construction of roads and complexes for Customs and other institutions at its side,” Mr Kakar added, urging the Pakis­tani side to do the same.

This Badini terminal is the second trading hub after Chaman on the Pak-Afghan border. The former, however, is at a shorter distance to Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa than the latter, with both being in the same northern belt of Balochistan.

Published in Dawn, June 11th, 2024

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