LANDI KOTAL: Defence Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan visited the Torkham border crossing on Wednesday to assess the security situation along the border with Afghanistan.
He was accompanied by Frontier Corps Inspector General Maj Gen Waseem Ashraf and was received by Commandant Khyber Rifles Col Farrukh Humayun at the Landi Kotal helipad.
The minister was briefed on the security situation at the Torkham crossing, steps taken by the government to regulate cross-border movement and how the border management policy had been implemented since last year.
He was told that the unregulated movement of Afghan nationals to Pakistan via the border crossing had been stopped completely and only those who had a Pakistani visa stamped on their passports were allowed to enter the country.
The number of Afghans with legal travel documents had considerably increased after its reduction in the initial months of the implementation of the new border policy, the minister was informed.
Later, Mr Khan inspected the border fencing with Afghanistan which would help monitor illegal entry of Afghans and discourage bringing of smuggled goods and other contraband into Pakistan via the previously unmanned crossing points.
The border remained open while the minister visited the offices of the passport and immigration, National Database and Registration Authority and customs department.
Helicopters flew over the border crossing and surrounding areas throughout his visit for at least 45 minutes.
Officials said that Mr Khan expressed his satisfaction over the overall security arrangements at the border.
Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2018