Pakistan reopens Afghan border at Chaman

Published July 18, 2021
Security officials deployed at the border crossing point were strictly checking documents of the Afghans. — Reuters/File
Security officials deployed at the border crossing point were strictly checking documents of the Afghans. — Reuters/File

QUETTA: Pakistan reopened its border with Afghanistan at Chaman on Saturday to allow several thousand Afghan nationals to cross into their country, who had been stranded in Pakistani territory due to border closure by Pakistani authorities after the Taliban captured Spin Boldak and Wesh areas of Afghanistan last week.

This was the second time that Pakistan opened the border crossing in the last four days for sending back Afghan nationals, including women, children and patients, to their country.

“Pakistan opened its border at Chaman as several thousand Afghan families had gathered at the border and were seeking permission to cross into their country,” a senior administration official told Dawn over the phone. Pakistani citizens who had been stuck in Wesh were also allowed by the Taliban officials to return home, he added.

The Afghans who returned home along with their families carried wheat flour, ghee, cooking oil and other edible items purchased from Chaman and Quetta.

“Pakistan has reopened its border with Afghanistan on humanitarian grounds to allow Afghan families to return home and celebrate Eid in their country,” Assistant Commissioner Arif Kakar said.

Security officials deployed at the border crossing point were strictly checking documents of the Afghans.

“Over 150 Pakistanis came back to Chaman from Wesh,” border officials said, adding that only those Pakistanis were allowed to return who had computerised national identity cards and other required documents.

Meanwhile, sources said that Spin Boldak and border town of Wesh, where fighting between Afghan forces and Taliban fighters had ceased, were still in the control of Taliban who could be seen taking position in the check-posts established in and around Wesh Mandi.

Published in Dawn, July 18th, 2021

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