Pakistan ‘temporarily’ resumes trade with China through Khunjerab Pass

This picture taken on June 27, 2017 shows a truck driving along the China-Pakistan Friendship Highway before the Karakorum mountain range near Tashkurgan in China's western Xinjiang province. (AFP)
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Updated 05 August 2020

Pakistan ‘temporarily’ resumes trade with China through Khunjerab Pass

  • Khunjerab Pass is a border outpost on the Karakoram Highway in the glacier-strewn Gilgit-Baltistan region
  • Pakistan shut all its land borders in March to try to halt the spread of the coronavirus

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s commerce chief, Abdul Razak Dawood, said on Wednesday trade with China had been temporarily resumed through Khunjerab Pass, a border outpost on the Karakoram Highway in the glacier-strewn Gilgit-Baltistan region.

Pakistan shut all its land borders in March to try to halt the spread of the coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19. Khunjerab pass is in a strategic location on the northern border of Pakistan and on the southwest border of China’s Xinjiang province.

“I am pleased to see that trade with China through Khunjerab Pass has resumed temporarily,” Dawood said in a Twitter post. “The opening of border was a longstanding demand of the businessmen, particularly from Gilgit Baltistan region, which remained closed due to Covid-19.”

Dawood added the ministry of commerce team “must be appreciated for their hard work in resolving this issue in consultation with Chinese authorities and other stakeholders.” 

Last month, Pakistan also restored trade operations with Afghanistan at five border terminals — Chaman, Torkham, Ghulam Khan, Angor Adda and Kharlachi — after closing them in mid-March over coronavirus fears.

The Wagah border crossing with India was also opened last month to allow Afghan exports to pass through.
 


Urdu comic book 'Little Master' to help Pakistani children fight COVID-19 misinformation

Updated 19 September 2020

Urdu comic book 'Little Master' to help Pakistani children fight COVID-19 misinformation

  • The book tells the story of a young boy from Karachi's Lyari, who is learning about the virus to help others
  • 'Little Master' is illustrated by Umair Najeeb Khan, the creator of Pakistan’s first superhero comic book series 'Paak-Legion'

RAWALPINDI: "Little Master," an Urdu-language comic book, is going to be released on Monday to guide Pakistani children how to stay safe amid the coronavirus pandemic and cope with COVID-19 misinformation.
Published by Mehrdar Art & Production (MAP), the book tells the story of Ahmed, a young boy from Karachi's Lyari area, who is trying to learn about the coronavirus to help keep others safe, regardless of their community background.
"Comics are a great way to tell a story positively and are really useful in countering misinformation,” Muhammad Faheem, documentary filmmaker and MAP founder, told Arab News on Saturday.

The cover of "Little Master," an Urdu-language comic book to help Pakistani children cope with COVID-19 misinformation. (Photo courtesy of Muhammad Faheem via AN)

The efforts have been funded by MAP itself and through government and private support. To illustrate "Little Master," Faheem asked for help Umair Najeeb Khan, the creator of Pakistan’s first superhero comic book series "Paak-Legion."
Thousands of copies of "Little Master" will be distributed at schools in underprivileged areas such as Lyari, where misinformation has led to blame games and community tensions that affected virus response. Some narratives even questioned the very existence of the virus and necessity to follow any precautions against it.

Umair Najeeb Khan is working on an illustration for the "Little Master" comic book in Islamabad on Sept. 19, 2020. (Photo courtesy of Umair Najeeb Khan via AN)

In May, Faheem rolled out "Hum Sab Saath, Corona ki Kilaaf" ("All of Us Together Against the Coronavirus"), a campaign through posters, social media and talks by community leaders to address the situation.
"It got to the point where relief efforts in these areas were being compromised because people were questioning who deserved help," Faheem said. "We needed to address not only the severity of what was going on but educate the citizens of these areas on what was real information to help combat the fake news and rising bigotry."
The comic book is a follow up to these efforts.
"When kids read our comics, we hope they will learn more about the pandemic and how it is a collective effort that we all have to join together, regardless of our backgrounds."