Imran pitches for border markets with Afghan, Iran

Lahore: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday directed the authorities to set up border markets along the country’s borders with Afghanistan and Iran to boost employment opportunities and help curb smuggling.

The decision to establish border markets was taken in September last year with the objective to provide jobs and promote peace.

Khan chaired a review meeting here to discuss the establishment of such markets to provide job opportunities to local people and to control smuggling, according to his office.

The establishment of these markets is critical for the prosperity of the population living in border areas of Balochistan and merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Khan said.

Khan was briefed on steps taken at the federal and provincial levels for the establishment of border markets to provide improved business facilities, trade promotion and employment opportunities to the local population.

The meeting concluded that out of 18 proposed border markets four will be established under pilot project.

Balochistan, which shares borders with both Afghanistan and Iran, is Pakistan’s largest and most volatile province. It faces a multi-faceted threat from several armed groups, including the Taliban and other movements, seeking the province’s secession from Pakistan.