ISLAMABAD, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan will set up three markets along the borders with Afghanistan and Iran by February next year to promote business activities and help the people in the border areas, the Prime Minister Office of Pakistan said on Thursday.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, who presided over a high-level meeting in Islamabad on Thursday, approved the establishment of the markets as a pilot project, a statement from the office said.
Under the pilot project, the three markets, two in southwestern Balochistan province and one in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, will be completed and activated by February in 2021.
A total of 12 markets are expected to be established along the border with Afghanistan while six markets along the border with Iran, according to the statement.
Speaking on the occasion, the prime minister was quoted as saying that these markets will provide better business and trade opportunities to the people living along the border areas.
Khan said fencing of the borders will help in organizing the cross-border movement and curbing smuggling. He directed the concerned departments to complete training of the staff to be deployed at the border markets and official border crossings, according to the statement.
The meeting also decided to take effective steps to stop cross-border smuggling, which according to officials, badly affect local people.