Tribesmen, business communities welcome Pak-Afghan Ghulam Khan border opening

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PESHAWAR: Tribesmen, as well as trade-business communities from North Waziristan and other parts of the country, have welcomed the opening of Pak-Afghan Ghulam Khan crossing point for bilateral trade and other economic activities with Afghanistan.

Prime Minister (PM) Shahid Khaqan Abbassi and Chief Of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday inaugurated the Ghulam Khan crossing point, which connects North Waziristan with Khost Province of Afghanistan. Beside Ghulam Khan crossing point, the PM also inaugurated the recently constructed commercial market in Miranshah.

Tribal elders Mohsin Dawar and Malik Ghulam Khan speaking to Pakistan Today stated that the inauguration should be treated as final, unlike earlier inaugurations after which the border remained closed. They also termed the inauguration a matter of pleasure and joy for tribesmen.

Mohsin Dawar said that 70 per cent population of North Waziristan depended on bilateral trade with Afghanistan. He said that the government needs to ensure maximum facilities to those involved in bilateral trade between the two countries and added that people residing on both sides of the borders are linked in relations to each others therefore, the government needs to ease restrictions on their meetings as well.

Malik Ghulam Khan said that tribesmen from North Waziristan region remained Temporary Displaced People (TDP) for a long-term and still faced severe hardships. He said that Ghulam Khan crossing point deserves appreciation but the government must realise its responsibilities regarding addressing genuine problems of the tribesmen. He showed unhappiness over  PM’s failure in listening to the tribal elders present in the inaugural ceremonies.

Pakistan and Afghanistan joint chamber of commerce and Industries Vice-Chairman Zia Ul Haq Sahadi welcomed the border and said the present bilateral trade volume between the two countries is $2.5 billion for which the government must ensure maximum facilities.

After Ghulam Khan, the Angor Adda crossing point with Afghanistan in North Waziristan is also all set for an opening. Peshawar Corps Commander Lieutenant General Nazir Ahmad Butt said that the new border management system on all crossing points is beneficial for both the neighbouring countries and that there is a capacity of 2000 trucks clearance at Torkham border only.