Beijing April 3 2023: The Khunjerab Pass, a major trade route between Pakistan and China was opened after a closure of almost three years in wake of Covid-19 pandemic.
The pass that connects Gilgit-Baltistan with China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region was closed in the year 2020 after spread of Covid-19 outbreak.
According to official sources, the Chinese authorities have shared a letter with Pakistani officials regarding the reopening of the pass for the trade.
The port authorities on the Chinese side of Khunjerab Pass have been instructed to take all necessary measures regarding Covid-19 before the start of the arrival of goods from Pakistan.
Similarly, Pakistani border authorities have also been instructed to take all measures regarding Covid-19, ensuring the containment of the disease.
It may be mentioned here that as result of cold weather and lack of oxygen in the high altitude, Khunjerab Pass generally opens from April 1 to November 30 every year, and remains closed from December 1 to March 31 of the following year.
But to ensure the smooth customs clearance of Pakistan’s urgently needed and other supplies, the port was temporarily opened twice early this year.
Though with difficulties including extremely cold weather, heavy snow and lack of oxygen, the local customs have worked around the clock to ensure the transportation of cargo.
This year, the last temporary opening was last for 12 days between January 30 and February 10 while the first port opening was between January 19th and 20 this year.
The two temporary openings facilitated 128 cross-border personnel visits, 328 transportation vehicles’ passes, and more than 6,000 tons of goods exported, as per foreign affairs office of Kashgar prefecture.
It is believed that the reopening of the border crossing will help boost economic activities between the two countries.