Weekly Bang-e-sahar Saturday May 24—-30,2008
By Our Correspondent
GILGIT: In an interim decision on the border pass issue, the interior division of Northern Areas has, with immediate effect, abolished the condition of single entry. Now traders of the region holding border passes issued from May 22 to June 10 can continue travel to and from China. And if the Northern Areas Chamber of Commerce did not present documents regarding its demand of fee increase by June 10, then the border passes would be issued at the present fee of Rs500 for whole the year. It may be recalled that there had been a dispute over the border pass between the Pak-China Trade Association and the Northern Areas Chamber of Commerce. The former was of the view that the annual border fee for the traders of Northern Areas going to China should be fixed at Rs500, while the latter wanted to increase the fee to Rs3,000 and issue the passes by itself. The local administration gave its temporary decision in favor of the trade association and asked the chamber to present documents issued by the federal government in support of its demand by June 10. Hailing the administration’s decision, Chairman Pak-China Border Trade Association Manzoor Husain Ahmed and President Amanullah Khan said the local administration had fulfilled a long-standing demand of the traders and saved small businessmen from financial losses. They called upon the federal minister for Kashmir affairs and Northern Areas Qamaruz Zaman Kaira that if the fee was increased a large number of small traders in the region would be badly affected.