ISLAMABAD – Pakistan has formally reopened the Ghulam Khan pass, its third major trade route with Afghanistan, ending a four-year closure.
Islamabad had closed the border route in 2014 after the military launched its Zarb-e-Azb operation against the outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in North Waziristan, bordering Afghanistan.
The militants’ hideouts have been destroyed and now the area is completely secured.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi along with Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa traveled on Monday to North Waziristan agency and ordered the formal resumption of trade activities on the route.
The move came after the last month’s meeting between Abbasi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul to discuss various issues including bilateral trade falling almost in half from $2.7 billion to $1.4 billion over the last two years.
North Waziristan is one of Pakistan’s seven semi-autonomous tribal regions, one which has been a stronghold of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other terrorist networks.
Pakistan’s army claims that 95 percent of the area has been cleared of militants.