Pak-China border via Khunjerab pass reopens for trade

GILGIT BALTISTAN: The Pakistan-China border via Khunjerab pass has reopened for trade under strict standard operating procedures (SOPs) until September 30.

Earlier, with the consensus of the federal government, the GB administration had decided to open the Pak-China border at Sost until September 30 to allow the trucks into Pakistan, after the Chinese embassy and traders had requested the Pakistani government.

According to official sources in the Gilgit Baltistan government, the border was opened to facilitate the transporters. 

Implementation of Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) for the clearance of containers for bilateral trade between the two countries is strictly being followed, the official added.

The residents of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) earlier had expressed deep concerns over the short-term opening of the Pakistan-China border at Sost without solid measures for the screening of people coming from China.

At least 57 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Gilgit-Baltistan— including 10 from the Department of Education and a tourist— during the past 24 hours, taking the tally to 3,411.

According to health officials, one more patient succumbed to the lethal disease as the death toll reached 80 in the region. They further said that 56 more patients recovered from the disease, taking the total to 2,950.

A large number of people, including women and children staged a protest demonstration outside the Gilgit Press Club and on the main road leads to the Sost border, against the decision of opening of the border.

The protesters said that the opening of the border without proper safety steps at the Sost border will put the residents especially those in Hunza and Upper Hunza at the risk of transmittable virus.

The protesters said that the government should not play with the lives of GB residents by opening the border for the benefit of a handful of traders. They demanded of the federal government to order for the shut Pak-China border immediately.

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