Pakistan-Afghanistan border crossing opens for 24 hours

PESHAWAR: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday formally inaugurated the Integrated Transit Trade Management System to keep the Torkham border open for 24 hours for trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

A ceremony was held at Torkham border point which was also attended by External Affairs Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Chief Minister Mahmood Khan. The Prime Minister also inaugurated Pak-Afghan friendship hospital to provide healthcare facilities to the people of the area and traders.

Talking to the media after the inauguration, the Prime Minister said that the project would change people’s destiny and would promote trade and peace in the region. “The lives of people in this region will be changed,” said the prime minister in his addressing, adding “Peshawar will become a regional hub of business activities which will generate employment opportunities.”

Prime Minister Imran Khan said Central Asian countries are keen to trade with Pakistan and expressed the hope that the round the clock opening of the border will increase trade activities with central Asia via Afghanistan.

He said the area would change and would get developed because of the opening of the border 24 hours. The Prime Minister said that during his visit to the Central Asian countries, he saw which of these countries wanted to trade with Pakistan.

“I consider this to be a very historic day,” he said, noting that trade with Afghanistan had jumped by 50 per cent during the trial of the 24/7 border opening alone.

Extraordinary security arrangements were made before PM Imran visit to Torkham. A heavy contingent of security forces are deployed and mobile phone signals were blocked to avoid any unpleasant situation.

On January 29, PM Khan had issued directions to take steps to keep Torkham border open round the clock within six months to promote bilateral trade and people-to-people contacts. This announcement by the premier was welcomed by people on both sides of the border, particularly the traders.

The National Logis­tics Cell (NLC), in coordination with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has completed arrangements for the round-the-clock, trans-border trade terminal