Islamabad, July 12 (IANS) Pakistan has opened two key trade routes with neighbour Afghanistan that will help boost bilateral trade, Pakistani officials said.
Mohammad Sadiq, Pakistani Prime Minister''s Special Representative for Afghanistan, on Saturday said the Angor Adda crossing with Afghanistan in South Waziristan tribal district was opened on Friday, two days ahead of its scheduled opening, Xinhua news agency reported.
Meanwhile, officials in Kurram tribal district said that the Kharlachi border crossing was opened on Saturday.
Sadiq had earlier announced that the Angor Adda and the Kharlachi border crossings would be opened on July 12 for trade with the neighbouring country. Both border crossings were closed in March due to COVID-19.
While congratulating the team working at the Angor Adda border crossing to open it for trade ahead of the proposed date, Sadiq said in a tweet on Saturday that "trade should be the mainstay of Pak-Afghan relations and prosperity of regions on both sides of the border."
Last month, Pakistan opened the Ghulam Khan crossing in North Waziristan tribal district with Afghanistan. Besides these crossings, Pakistan has also opened Torkham crossing in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and Chaman crossing in southwestern Balochistan province for trade with Afghanistan.
Earlier this month, Sadiq said Pakistan had shared Torkham and Chaman border terminal master plans with Afghanistan to enable concurrent development on the Afghan side in the spirit of brotherly cooperation and regional connectivity.
He said an enhanced compatibility in trade infrastructure on both sides will help realize the shared goal of optimum trade, connectivity and people to people facilitation between the two countries.
Afghan traders currently use Torkham and Chaman border points for transit trade and both countries are exploring ways to use other crossings for transit trade.
Pakistan announced in October last year to open the Gwadar port for the Afghan transit trade as the trade related infrastructure at the port was already to handle bulk cargoes to and from Afghanistan. The first ship carrying containers for Afghan transit trade arrived at the Gwadar port on January 14, 2020.