QUETTA: Traders in Baluchistan blocked the Chaman highway in protest after government closed the small passes between Afghanistan and Pakistan. These unpopular passes are used for small scale smuggling between the two countries, which is the primary and only source of income for the residents of the area.
Langri package, passes connecting villages of Afghanistan and Pakistan were closed due to COVID-19. The authorities usually allow small scale smuggling by the villagers as there are no other sources of income for the people.
Closing of the Langri package closed the only source of income of the people, and they resorted to protest and closed the main highway.
It may be mentioned here successive governments in the last 70 years did not develop Baluchistan and till today the primary source of income of the people remains smuggling. The local leaders, politicians and businessmen (smugglers) also did not let the area develop. These rich people never setup any industries, nor develop the agriculture, which could provide for the people.
Meanwhile, Collector MCC Quetta Abdul Waheed Marwat said Customs had always facilitated and supported legitimate trade. Marwat said it was his responsibility to remove hurdles in the way of trade.