Pakistan opens two more transit trade routes with Afghanistan

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Businessmen and local elders attend a ceremony as authorities in Chitral, the country’s northernmost district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, made arrangements to open two transit trade routes with Afghanistan on Tuesday. Picture taken on October 6, 2019. (Photo Courtesy: Chitral Chamber of Commerce and Industry)
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Local authorities in Chitral, the country’s northernmost district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, made arrangements to open two transit trade routes with Afghanistan on Tuesday. Picture taken on October 6, 2019. (Photo Courtesy: Chitral Chamber of Commerce and Industry)
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Businessmen and local elders attend a ceremony as authorities in Chitral, the country’s northernmost district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, made arrangements to open two transit trade routes with Afghanistan on Tuesday. Picture taken on October 6, 2019. (Photo Courtesy: Chitral Chamber of Commerce and Industry)
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Local authorities in Chitral, the country’s northernmost district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, made arrangements to open two transit trade routes with Afghanistan on Tuesday. Picture taken on October 6, 2019. (Photo Courtesy: Chitral Chamber of Commerce and Industry)
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Officials head toward Dorah Pass near Shah Saleem border on their horses to examine arrangements to open transit trade routes with Afghanistan in the country’s Chitral district on October 8, 2019. (Photo Courtesy: Chitral Chamber of Commerce and Industry)
Updated 09 October 2019

Pakistan opens two more transit trade routes with Afghanistan

  • The border crossings in Chitral were shut down in the past due to security challenges in the region
  • The business community in the country's northernmost district hopes the opening of trade routes will increase commercial activities in the area

PESHAWAR: Following a notification by the federal government, authorities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province have made arrangements to open two more transit trade routes with Afghanistan in the country’s northernmost Chitral district, officials and traders said on Wednesday.
According to a notification released on Tuesday, the provincial administration would open transit trade routes, known as Dorah Pass (near Shah Saleem border) and Arandu Pass, in Chitral district to enhance bilateral trade between the two countries.
Talking to Arab News, Tanveer Ahmad, a senior customs officer, said people of the Shah Saleem border areas had been demanding operationalization of the route, adding it would positively impact economic activities in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Expressing satisfaction over the decision, President of Chitral Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sartaj Ahmed Khan said thousands of people from both countries were associated with the business of precious stones and the opening of the border points would give a boost to commercial activities in the region.
“Our traders export and import warm clothes, gemstone, rugs, herbs, wool, dried fruit and other goods,” Khan added.
He expressed optimism that opening of the new routes would increase business activities up to Central Asia due to the geostrategic location of Chitral that shares border with Afghanistan’s Kunar, Badakhshan and Nuristan provinces.
Khan recalled that the two border crossing in Chitral had to be shut down for years owing to security challenges in the region, adding that the area witnessed trade worth billions of rupees in the past.
Bashir Hussain Azad, a leading trader in Chitral, told Arab News that most of the businessmen in the area depended on trade with neighboring Afghanistan, and the government’s decision to open the border at two strategically significant points would bring economic prosperity to thousands of families.
“This is the shortest possible way to Tajikistan. Apart from that, access to China is also easier through these routes. The business community in the area views it as a step taken toward durable development and prosperity,” Khan observed.


PML-N’s Maryam Sharif admitted to Services Hospital

Updated 23 October 2019

PML-N’s Maryam Sharif admitted to Services Hospital

  • Maryam went to the medical facility to see her father whose platelet count dropped to a drastically low level
  • The party’s information secretary in Punjab claims Maryam undergoing medical checkup herself

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader, Maryam Sharif, was admitted to the Services Hospital after she met her ailing father at the same medical facility on Wednesday, confirmed Uzma Bokhari, PML-N’s information secretary in Punjab, while talking to Arab News.
“Maryam Nawaz Sharif’s condition is not well and she is undergoing a medical checkup,” Bokhari said. “She will stay at the hospital tonight.”
Maryam had gone to the medical facility to see her father who was shifted there on Monday on the request of his physician, Dr. Adnan Khan, after his platelet count dropped to an alarmingly low level.
Soon after he was shifted to the medical facility, Nawaz Sharif’s blood test was done to see if he was suffering from dengue, but the report was clear.
While his condition was said to have improved after transfusion of platelets, doctors could not diagnose the reason behind the problem.
His daughter, Maryam, was allowed to see her father at the hospital on Wednesday after her party sought special permission for that purpose from the Punjab Home Department.
While the local media initially claimed she was allowed to stay with Sharif for an hour, there was much speculation about the health of the country’s former prime minister after it turned out that she was going to stay at the medical facility for the night.
Reports also indicate that the hospital authorities have summoned specialists from Karachi and Islamabad to examine Nawaz Sharif and diagnose his medical condition.