Islamabad: Pakistan will set up 18 markets along its border with Afghanistan and Iran to simultaneously boost trade with the two neighbours and curb the menace of smuggling that has dented the economies on both sides, according to a media report on Friday.
According to a decision taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday, initially the government would set up three markets– two in Balochistan and one in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa–as pilot projects, the Dawn newspaper reported.
“Pakistan will set up 18 markets along its border with Afghanistan and Iran to boost trade with the two nations and curb the menace of smuggling. Initially, three pilot projects would be functional,” the report said.
The three markets will start operation by February next year.
The meeting, which was also attended by Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and other high officials, decided that stern steps would be taken to check smuggling.
Pakistan has been fencing its border with Afghanistan and Iran to curb the movement of militants and smuggling of goods.
However, it has been setting up border crossings at designated points to promote lawful movements of persons and goods.