Khunjerab Border Resumes Operations After Four-Month Closure

After a planned four-month closure prompted by severe winter conditions, the Pakistan-China Khunjerab border resumed operations for bilateral trade and tourism on Monday.

Following the guidelines outlined in the 1985 border protocol agreement between Pakistan and China, the pass facilitates travel and trade exclusively from April to November annually.

To mark the reopening, the Hunza Chamber of Commerce and Industry hosted a ceremonial event at the Silk Route Dry Port in Sost, Gojal Hunza.

During the event, there was an opening ceremony followed by the hoisting of flags, symbolizing the renewal of the trade and tourism connection between Pakistan and China.

Prominent figures like Javed Hussain, a former member of the Gilgit Assembly, Muhammad Baqir, a former provincial minister, and Muhammad Ali Akhtar, a former provincial finance minister, were present at the ceremony. Furthermore, a considerable number of businessmen from various parts of the country, especially Gilgit-Baltistan, attended, emphasizing
the economic significance of reopening the border.

After the ceremonial reopening, the border witnessed immediate activity, with 15 containers filled with commercial goods entering Pakistan from China on the inaugural day. In the previous year, spanning six months, the Khunjerab border facilitated the passage of over 400 containers into Pakistan, contributing significantly to the government’s revenue with customs duties totaling Rs. 5.45 billion.

Positioned along the Karakoram Highway, the Khunjerab Pass boasts strategic significance, serving as the exclusive land port linking Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan region with China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Beyond its role in trade facilitation, it serves as a vital pathway for fostering tourism exchanges between the two nations.

During its regular operational period from April 1 to November 30 each year, the pass closes from December 1 to March 31 due to harsh winter weather conditions and decreased oxygen levels at the high altitude. It’s worth mentionin
g that the Khunjerab Pass was temporarily reopened for 14 days starting January 2, following a special request by Pakistani authorities, highlighting the route’s importance for bilateral relations between Pakistan and China.

Source: ProPakistani