Sost is a small border town that connects Pakistan with China. Since the construction of Karakuram Highway it has hosted an immigration checkpost, an office of the Customs Department, of the Government of Pakistan, and many other important offices related to the security organizations. It has emerged as a bustling center of commerce, where people from different parts of the Pakistan, and the world visit either for the purpose of trade or as tourists. Most recently the first Dry Port of Federaly Administrated Northern Areas (Gilgit-Baltistan) has been established in Sost to facilitate the growing on-land trade with China. It is also the last town enroute Khunjerab National Park- home to some of the rarest wildlife species of the planet, inlcuding Snow Leoperd and Brown Bears.
Unfortunately no attention has been given to the development of this town. Despite of the fact that billions have been earend by the Customs Department for Government of Pakistan, nothing has been spent on provision of basic facilities, like housing for labors, sanitation, pollution control, garbage management and other basic human needs. Electricty is a major issue in the entire region and hurts trade and commerce in the town, particularly. There is no hospital in the town. The nearest ten-bed hospital is located at an hours drive, in the South at Gulmit.
Ironicaly the NWFP government, forcefully, gathers money from the earnings of the port in the name of “Kohistan Development Fund” but there is no such provision for development of the town where the port and the Custom establishments exist. We urge the authorities to look into the state of affairs of this important border town of the country. If a proportion of the money earned from the Silk Route Dry Port is spent on development of the city within a couple of years all major issues will be resolved.