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Pakistan pursues opening of China border from next month

Islamabad: According to a source, Pakistan has asked China to reopen the border between the two countries from the next month to expedite cross-border trade and people-to-people exchanges.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan in a letter that the border at Khunjerab Pass was closed on December 1, 2019, as planned. However, owing to the occurrence of the Covid-19 pandemic, the planned opening of the border on April 1, 2020, has been postponed.

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“To support the lives and livelihood of the local population on both sides of the border, it is imperative that regular cross-border trade and P2P exchanges may be resumed. Therefore, the border may be opened from April 1, 2021,” the ministry stated. “The esteemed embassy is requested to take up the matter with relevant quarters to open the border on April 1, 2021, for smooth and regular cross-border movement.”

Due to extreme weather conditions, the China-Pakistan border is closed from December 1 to March 31 every year, as per the bilateral agreement. However, for the remainder of the year, the border remains open to two-way air traffic as well as goods and freight transportation.

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It should be remembered that the Pakistan-China border was opened for a few weeks in July last year to allow for the release of stranded containers, and then again in September to allow for the transfer of medical equipment donated by the Chinese government to the United Kingdom to deal with Covid-19. Following its partial reopening, two containers containing medical equipment donated by the Xinjiang province to the Gilgit-Baltistan police department arrived at the

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