Chaman border reopens for one day

Updated 05 Aug 2020

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Thousands of stranded Afghans cross border to return home. — Shahzada Zulfiqar/File
Thousands of stranded Afghans cross border to return home. — Shahzada Zulfiqar/File

QUETTA: Amid tight security and after five-day closure, Pakistan reopened its border with Afghanistan at Chaman for one day on Tuesday to facilitate stranded Afghan and Pakistani citizens to cross into their countries.

Pakistan had taken the decision to reopen the border crossing in a flag meeting of the military commanders of both the countries the other day, which discussed various issues about reopening the border for Afghan transit trade, import and export and border crossing from both sides by the people of both the countries.

Official sources said that the border crossing was reopened from 8.30am to 5.30pm. Pakistani border authorities opened the Friendship Gate to enable Pakistani and Afghan nationals to cross into their countries.

During nine hours, thousands of Afghan nationals, who had been stranded in Pakistan due to border closure, reached Chaman with their families from different areas of Pakistan to go back to their country.

Thousands of stranded Afghans cross border to return home

“Around 3,000 Afghan nationals crossed into Afghanistan through Friendship Gate along with their families today,” Zakaullah Durrani, a senior official of Chaman administration, told Dawn over telephone. He said that a similar number of Pakistanis, who were waiting to return to their country, came back to Pakistan.

Strict security measures were taken in the border area and unauthorised persons were not allowed to enter the area.

“Smooth crossing of border continued from both sides till closure of border,” the border authorities said.

“The border opened only for one day for the time being to allow people from both sides to return to their homes,” the border authorities said, adding that another flag meeting of the military commanders of the two countries was expected to be held in a couple of days to take a decision about reopening of the border for resuming Afghan transit trade, import and export and border crossing from both sides.

Published in Dawn, August 5th, 2020