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Pakistan-China trade will remain suspended from December to April at Khunjerab pass due to heavy snow

Pakistan-China trade will remain suspended from December to April at Khunjerab pass due to heavy snow

PESHAWAR: The trade between China and Pakistan has been suspended for four months due to closure of the Khunjerab Pass owing to heavy snowfall.

The customs officials informed Customs Today on Wednesday that no bilateral trade will be done through this border passing for the next four months due to heavy snowfall. The Khunjerab pass situated at the most critical location due to which the movements of vehicles become impossible.

Under the Pak-China protocol agreement, the border is usually closed at the end of November and reopened at the start of April due to snowfall as all the roads are covered by snow in this period.

The Khunjerab Pass is the highest international border at an altitude of 15,500 feet and it becomes impossible to carry out trade through this route in winter. A daily bus service runs from Sost valley of Gilgit-Baltistan to Xinjiang province of China.

An official of Pakistan Customs requesting anonymity told Customs Today that many attempts to smuggle banned items, including alcohol and mobile phones, were foiled during the current year.

Pakistan Customs during the current Fiscal Year 2018-19 foiled several attempts of smuggling Chinese products to Pakistan including mobile phones, vehicles, spare parts, tyres along with other NDP goods.

According to estimated figures, the Customs staff foiled smuggling of Rs 43.87 million in current FY, adding the valuable revenue to the national exchequer. The Customs staff further informed that due to strict directives issued by Collector Customs Saeed Khan Jadoon, all smuggling attempts are thwarted successfully.