Pakistan Demands Reopening of Zero-Point Trade Gate
QUETTA (Dispatches) - Pakistan Peoples Party Central Leader Umair Muhammad Hasni has termed the prolonged closure of Zero-Point trade gate on the Pak-Iran border in Taftan as economic exploitation and demanded its immediate reopening.
According to a press release issued on Saturday, Hasni said that prolonged closure of the Zero-Point by Iranian authorities was illogical as it “is in violation of the mutual border agreement”. Hasni wondered whether the government or the district administration was doing anything in this regard and lamented the government’s incapability of resolving the issue which rendered hundreds of labourers and middle-class businessmen jobless.
The PPP central leader said, “The closure of the Zero-Point trade gate, despite inking of a mutual border agreement with the Iranian authorities, has resulted in shortage of routine commodities.”
He made it clear that his party would not let the poor people of Chagai and border-related areas suffer and urged the government to take up the issue during mutual border meetings and on diplomatic level otherwise his party would utilize every democratic right to stage protests against Zero-Point’s prolonged closure and the government’s incompetency. In January this year, Iran had assured Pakistan that the Zero-Point trade gate would reopen once fencing was complete. The assurance had come during a regular border meeting between the delegations of Pakistan and Iran at Border Pillar Number 72 near Taftan.
Pakistan’s side was headed by Chagai Deputy Commissioner Imran Ibrahim Bangulzai, while Meer Jawah District Administrator Ibrahim Jannati represented the Iranian side. Both the sides were flanked by government officials and security forces personnel.
Bangulzai had requested the Iranian authorities to reopen the Zero-Point trade gate and informed them about the consequences the people were suffering due to the closure of the border-crossing point. Jannati had assured reopening of the Zero-Point gate as soon as the construction work was complete. In the meeting, border control measures – particularly curbing drugs and human trafficking – were discussed thoroughly.