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Pakistan approves three border markets to formalize trade with neighbours

Pakistan border markets

Pakistan approves establishment of three markets as a pilot project along its border with Afghanistan and Iran to simultaneously boost trade with both its neighbours.

On Tuesday, Asim Saleem Bajwa, the retired Lt Gen and PM’s special assistant on information said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has called for the government’s focus on the uplift of areas that were previously neglected.

Saleem Bajwa who heads the CPEC authority said on twitter that out of the 18 approved border markets, three, including Mand and Gabd to be set up in Baluchistan and ShaheedanoDan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, have been approved as a pilot project.

He tweeted, “Integrate Remote areas: PM emphasised focus on earlier neglected areas.Out of approved 18, 3 border markets approved as pilot project;Mand&Gabd in Balochistan&ShaheedanoDan in KP,Will transform local economies,check smuggling&formalise trade with neighbours #PakistanMovingForward.”

Last Thursday, on 17th September, the government decided to establish 18 border markets on Pakistan international frontier with Afghanistan and Iran, from which three would be completed and will be galvanized by the next year in February as a pilot project.

While supervising the meeting on the establishment of border markets, Prime Minister Imran Khan briefed that these markets provide better trade opportunities to the people living in the border areas and would help to keep a check on smuggling.

The meeting was attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, prime minister’s advisers Dr. Hafeez Sheikh and Razak Dawood, chief ministers Mehmood Khan of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Jam Kamal Khan on Balochistan, special assistant Lt Gen (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa and others.

The meeting was further informed that the Pakistan-Afghanistan border would have 12 border markets set up while another six would be set on the Pakistan-Iran border. The curbing of cross-border smuggling by taking effective measures was also decided in the meeting.

Mr. PM said, “The establishment of these markets will provide better business and trade opportunities to the people living in the border areas, especially the youth,” adding that these would also help regulate trade after the fencing at the borders and check smuggling.

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