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Why Pakistan wants to open more trade routes with Afghanistan?

in Afghan Business

Why Pakistan wants to open more trade routes with Afghanistan?

Pakistan’s Commerce Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan during his recent visit to Kabul brought up the issue of opening more trade routes with Afghanistan.

Afghanistan and Pakistan presently have four trade routes: Chaman, Ghulam Khan, Torkham and Miran Shah. Mirnashah is currently non-operational due to active presence of militants. Afghanistan and Pakistan have both shown determination to wipe out terrorists from their respective territories.

Pakistan wants to enhance trade ties with Afghanistan by increasing the number of trade routes with Afghanistan to 16 from the existing four.

According to Pakistan’s The News, five new trade routes would be opened in Balochistan and seven in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The question is why?

The source says that Chinese President Xi Jinping has asked Islamabad to ensure “normal” relations and economic ties with neighboring Afghanistan for a successful implementation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is an under-construction development megaproject to connect Gwadar Port in southern Pakistan to China’s northwestern sovereign region of Xinjiang via highways and railways.

The success of the project relies on the access roads going through Afghanistan.

China wants to use the road infrastructure for transportation of billions of tons of iron, copper and other rate metals that it procures from Afghanistan.

China wants to make inroads and increase its influence in Afghanistan by using the CPEC and for this purpose it stresses sustainable peace between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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