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Belt and Road

China pushes Pakistan to open trade routes with Afghanistan

Beijing wants to extend Belt and Road by readying export paths to India

The border post in Torkham, Pakistan, in December 2019. The Khyber Pass Economic Corridor project includes construction of a 48km four-lane expressway between Peshawar and the Torkham border crossing.    © Reuters

KARACHI -- As peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban progress, China is pushing Pakistan to open its five key border crossings with Afghanistan to allow bilateral and transit trade and the resumption of Afghan exports to India.

Afghanistan is a landlocked country and relies on Pakistani land routes and seaports to conduct international trade. The two countries share 18 crossing points, of which the most commonly used are Torkham in Pakistan's northwest and Chaman in its southwest. The border points were closed by Pakistan in March to limit the spread of coronavirus.

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