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Strike in Chaman against Afghan border closure

Updated March 20, 2017


CHAMAN: Frontier Corps vehicles patrol a road on Sunday.—PPI
CHAMAN: Frontier Corps vehicles patrol a road on Sunday.—PPI

QUETTA: A shutter down strike was observed in the border town of Chaman on Sunday on the call of all parties Tajir Alliance in protest against the closure of Pak-Afghan border.

All bazaars, shopping centers, business establishments and shops remained closed.

Bazaars and roads of Chaman town were presenting a deserted look and a majority of vehicles remained off the roads. The border is closed for one month and all business activities, including import and export and Afghan transit trade, are suspended between the two countries.

Traders threaten to extend protest for an indefinite period

“We have closed our trading activities voluntarily as our business was badly affected due to closure of Pak-Afghan border for the past one month,” a spokesman for the alliance said, adding that the traders could go on a complete strike for an indefinite period if the border was not opened.

Shopkeepers and traders gathered in the town and demanded that the border be reopened as soon as possible.

Thousands of trucks carrying transit and other goods were stranded on both sides of the border. Nato supplies for the US troops stationed in Afghanistan were also suspended.

Daily-wage workers in Chaman and Vesh Mandi have become jobless. “We have no other source of income,” said Abdullah Khan, a 45-year-old man who has lost his job.

The alliance spokesman said that traders and business community could not be involved in terrorism or any such activity.

He said the Pakistan government was losing a huge amount of taxes due to closure of the border with Afghanistan. He demanded that border be reopened immediately.

Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2017