ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan government on Thursday announced closure of all border crossings with Afghanistan for Sept 27-28 for strengthening security in view of the fourth presidential election being held in the war-torn country on Saturday.
Meanwhile, enhanced security checks of pedestrians and trading vehicles were started from Thursday and the process will continue till Sunday.
“In view of the upcoming presidential election and in support of domestic transition in Afghanistan, it has been decided to enhance security along the Pak-Afghan border,” said a statement issued by the Foreign Office.
The statement further said that in this regard strict security check of all pedestrians and trading vehicles had been ordered from Sept 26 to 29, whereas the closure of all passage ways/cargo terminals (except for emergency patients) would be done on Sept 27 and 28.
Similar steps were taken in the past as well on the occasion of presidential and parliamentary elections.
The presidential election, which is taking place weeks after the collapse of the US-Taliban peace process, has been overshadowed by fears of Taliban violence on voting day.
In a statement issued last month, Taliban had pledged to disrupt polls. They have denounced the electoral process as a ‘sham process’. The election campaign has also been marred by violence. One of the rallies that was to be addressed by President Ashraf Ghani, the leading contender, was attacked, while a vice president candidate was also attacked.
Published in Dawn, September 27th, 2019