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Khunjerab Border Resumes Operations: Boosting Bilateral Trade and Tourism Between Pakistan and China

After a prolonged closure due to inclement winter conditions, the Pakistan-China Khunjerab border has officially reopened its gates, heralding a new era of trade and tourism collaboration between the two nations. Following the stipulations of the 1985 border protocol agreement, which dictates its operational calendar from April to November yearly, the pass has once again become a bustling hub for economic and cultural exchanges.

Khunjerab Border Resumes Operations: Boosting Bilateral Trade and Tourism Between Pakistan and China

To commemorate this significant occasion, the Hunza Chamber of Commerce and Industry orchestrated a ceremonial event at the Silk Route Dry Port in Sost, Gojal Hunza. Distinguished personalities including former members of the Gilgit Assembly and provincial ministers graced the event, underlining the border’s strategic and economic importance.

The reopening ceremony saw the unfurling of flags, symbolizing the resumption of trade and tourism ties between Pakistan and China. It was attended by a multitude of businessmen, particularly from Gilgit-Baltistan, emphasizing the economic potential inherent in restoring border operations.

The immediate aftermath of the reopening witnessed heightened activity, with 15 containers brimming with commercial goods crossing into Pakistan from China on the inaugural day alone. Last year, the Khunjerab border facilitated the passage of over 400 containers during its six-month operational period, significantly contributing to the government’s revenue through customs duties amounting to Rs. 5.45 billion.

Strategically positioned along the Karakoram Highway, the Khunjerab Pass serves as the primary land port linking Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan region with China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Beyond its role in facilitating trade, it also serves as a vital conduit for fostering tourism exchanges between the two nations.

Operating from April 1 to November 30 annually, the pass remains closed from December 1 to March 31 due to harsh winter weather conditions and reduced oxygen levels at its high altitude. However, earlier this year, Pakistani authorities made a special request resulting in a temporary reopening for 14 days starting January 2, underscoring the route’s significance in bolstering bilateral relations between Pakistan and China.

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The resumption of operations at the Khunjerab border signifies not just the reopening of a passageway but also the rekindling of a robust economic and cultural partnership between Pakistan and China, promising mutual prosperity and development in the years to come.

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