Jul 06, 2009

Gilgit-Baltistan: Call to Reopen Old Trade Routes

Active ImageThe Chairman of the Gilgit-Baltistan United Movement calls for the opening of old trade routes from Skardu to Kargil and so on to ensure economic development.
Below is a statement issued by the Gilgit Baltistan United Movement:

The Chairman of the Gilgit-Baltistan United Movement, Mr. Manzoor Hussain Parwana has said that closing the doors of economic development on the people of Gilgit-Baltistan is tantamount to their economic murder. He said the government of Pakistan should take immediate measures to open the old trade routes from Skardu to Kargil, Ishkoman to Tajikistan and Astor to Srinagar.

Mr. Parwana said at present Karakoram Highway (KKH) was the only route of economic activity between China and Pakistan but areas near to this vital highway have been hit by the wave of terrorism and there was a danger that the KKH may also be hit by terrorists.
He said if an operation is launched against terrorists near the KKH the highway would remain closed, bringing the wheel of economic activity in the whole region to a complete halt.

Besides, the closure of the highway will cut off Gilgit-Baltistan from the outside world. Therefore, the government should open all other routes connecting the region with the neighboring countries.

Mr. Parwana also said that the current ban on import of edible items from China should be lifted so that wheat and other essential items could be imported from China to end the shortage of the commodity in Gilgit-Baltistan.