Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday expressed his pleasure over the reopening of Khunjerab Pass and said that it would help increase bilateral trade between Pakistan and China. The prime minister termed the occasion a welcome one for boosting trade with ‘Iron brother China’, PM Office Media Wing said in a press release. He said the reopening of the pass removed a hurdle that would further expedite the pace of work on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), adding restoration of the trade route between the two countries, after a span of three years, was a matter of huge rejoice. The prime minister said that the journey which had started way back in November 2019, had recommenced in the year 2023 and expressed his resolve to move ahead on CPEC with dual speed in comparison to 2018. He said “CPEC is a gift of progress and prosperity given by Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and the Chinese leadership for the region and the people.” The affection and cooperation from the Chinese leadership for the people of Pakistan were unforgettable, he added. The prime minister said ‘a foreign funded person’ had committed a crime of creating controversy over CPEC. He also appreciated the relevant authorities of the two countries and the team members over the restoration of trade and travel facility. The PML-N senior vice president and chief organizer Maryam Nawaz also congratulated the leadership of China and Pakistan on the restoration of Sino-Pak trade after a three-year gap. In a statement, she said the opening of the Khunjerab Pass is a significant development that will end the hardships of people on both sides. The re-opening of Khunjerab Pass will help to end the hardships of the people on both sides. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and President Xi Jinping are strengthening Pakistan-China iron brotherhood, she added. Maryam Nawaz also praised the Pakistan-China iron brotherhood and accused the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government of deliberately stalling Pakistan-China trade activities and the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).