Quetta, July 20 (IANS) Closure of the Chaman border between Pakistan and Afghanistan was badly affecting Balochistans economy as the trade between the two countries has come to a complete halt, top officials said here, urging for it to reopen.
Quetta Chamber of Commerce and Industries (QCCI) President Ghulam Farooq Khan Khilji and senior vice president Badaruddin Kakar said that the continuous closure of the border caused massive unemployment as thousands of daily wagers working at both sides of the border lost their jobs, Dawn news reported on Monday.
They said the closure of the border had created a difficult situation for the people in the bordering districts of the province.
They urged the government to immediately open the Chaman border so that trade activities between the two countries could be resumed.
“Even financially stable people in import, export and service businesses are facing a serious economic crisis,” Khliji was quoted as saying in the Dawn news report.
He said that already employment opportunities were very limited in Balochistan which had no industrial and other jobs in its border areas, and the closure of Chaman had further deteriorated the economic situation in these areas.
The Chaman border was closed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reports Dawn news.
Afghan traders currently use Torkham, which has been opened, and Chaman border points for transit trade and both countries are exploring ways to use other crossings for transit trade.