ISLAMABAD          -      Pakistan on Monday opened its three border points with Afghanistan, including Torkham, Chaman and Ghulam Khan for 24/6 in order to increase the volume of trade and to promote business activities between the two brotherly countries.

According to a notification issued by the Ministry of Interior, the three border terminals would remain open for imports and exports from and to Afghanistan, with unlimited number of trucks to be allowed per day for both Afghan transit and bilateral trade, while ensuring the standard operating procedures and protocols related to the COVID-19, a Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Board of Information Technology (KPBOIT) spokesman told APP.

The Foreign Office spokesperson, in a press release too, said the government decided to open the third border terminal at Ghulam Khan for bilateral trade and also to allow transit trade and import from Afghanistan through the already opened Torkham and Chaman border points for six days.

“This arrangement on trade will be in operation for 6 days a week. Saturday will be reserved for pedestrian movement on these border crossing terminals. These steps are being taken after implementing all the necessary protocols related to COVID-19 pandemic,” the press release added.

The decision was made keeping in view of both countries’ desire to further increase mutual trade, strong fraternal ties and upon the renewed Afghan Government's request, it added.

“The opening of Ghulam Khan border crossing terminal and allowing imports from Afghanistan reflects Pakistan’s resolve to help Afghanistan and facilitate its trade. Pakistan is a major trading partner of Afghanistan and largest market for Afghan exports. The opening of Gwadar Port for Afghanistan’s export and import has further strengthened trade linkages between the two countries,” the press release said..

The Foreign Office said Pakistan would continue to support a peaceful and economically stable Afghanistan.

According to the KPBOIT spokesman, on the directives of Special Assistant to KP Chief Minister on Trade and Industry Abdul Karim Khan, the Board would also take up the issue of opening of Angoor Ada border point with the Ministry of Interior for further improvement in trade with Afghanistan.

He said Pakistan was the largest importer of Afghani products while Afghanistan was the fourth largest destination for Pakistani exports.

He said in order to increase the volume of trade and to promote business and trade activities on both sides, two meetings were held at KPBOIT between Afghan Consul General Najib Ullah Ahmadzai and Abdul Karim Khan in April and May this year.

The meetings, attended by traders and representatives of chambers from both countries, deliberated on the issue of opening of Torkham, Chaman and Ghulam Khan border points for round-the-clock trade activities.