The decision by the Chinese government to shut down Khunjerab Pass for four months contradicts the joint press statement made on October 20, wherein both nations affirmed its year-round openness. The closure, spanning from December to March, is attributed to the necessity of adhering to the “Port Entry and Exit Management Measures.” To ensure the continuous operation of Khunjerab Pass throughout the year, both countries must engage in diplomatic discussions, revising and signing an agreement on border ports and management systems.
The approval for the year-round operation is currently pending from the relevant authorities, with the pivotal involvement of China’s State Port Management Office. Until an official notice is issued, Khunjerab Port will adhere to a seasonal customs clearance mode. This permits special pass openings if specific needs arise during the closure period.
This adjustment highlights the intricacies of diplomatic negotiations and their tangible impact on decisions concerning a crucial international passageway. It underscores the significance of sustained communication and agreement to ensure the seamless functioning of border regions and trade routes between nations.