KHYBER: The security forces at the Torkham border returned a truck loaded with Afghan sheep early on Sunday as the dealer could not produce the necessary quarantine certificate at the border crossing.
Officials told this correspondent that the livestock dealers had been informed in advance to fulfil the health-related requirements prior to bringing sacrificial animals from Afghanistan to Pakistan via Torkham border.
The customs officials at the border insisted that there was no ban on import of sacrificial animals, especially the Afghan sheep which were in high demand in the local markets.
Officials say dealers must produce quarantine certificate
They said that according instructions of the federal ministryof commerce about the import of livestock from Afghanistan, every livestock dealer should produce a valid quarantinecertificate issued by the Afghan authorities at the time of clearing of their ‘consignment’ at Torkham border.
The officials dispelled the impression of any official ban on import of Afghan sheep, saying some vested elements were trying to skip legal import obligations for their personal gains by advancing such rumours.
They said the customs officials were ready for clearance of livestock imported from Afghanistan and extending assistance to the dealers.
RETURNING PAKISTANIS: The Khyber district administration and health authorities have allowed over 900 Pakistanis returning from Afghanistan to go to their respective towns, mostly in Punjab and Azad Kashmir.
Officials said that nearly 1,200 Pakistanis who had crossed over to Afghanistan in their bid to fly to Saudi Arabia
from Kabul airport had returned via Torkham border since Tuesday.
They said that as per Covid-related restrictions all these returning Pakistanis were kept at the quarantine centres soon after their arrival and later allowed to go home after they tested negative for the virus.
The officials said the remaining people would be kept at the quarantine centres till completion of their mandated time.
Published in Dawn, July 12th, 2021