While the Business community and Traders from Pakistan and Afghanistan welcomed the opening of the Ghulam Khan Road for transit trade in the North Waziristan tribal area, they expressed hope that this would help reduce trade between the two countries.

They said that the volume of trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan has been declining in recent years, mainly due to the obstacles on border crossings between Pakistan and Afghanistan and the policies of the two countries.

Zia ul-Haq Sarhadi, Chairman of the Association of Border Customs Agents in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, praised the government’s decision to open Ghulam Khan’s borders to Afghan transit trade and said it would boost bilateral trade.

“In recent years, trade has decreased from less than 2.5 billion dollars to less than 1 billion dollars,” Sarhadi added.

He said the distance across the third most important border crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan, from Karachi and Gwadar to Kabul, would be covered by about 400 kilometers, which would greatly reduce transportation costs.

In addition, more than 20 thousand residents of North Waziristan will obtain direct and indirect jobs due to the opening of the borders.

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