Chaman border reopens after talks with Taliban

Published August 14, 2021
This file photo show the Friendship Gate on the Pakistan-Afghan border. — Dawn/File
This file photo show the Friendship Gate on the Pakistan-Afghan border. — Dawn/File

QUETTA: The Pak-Afghan border crossing at Chaman that the Taliban had closed last week was reopened on Friday after successful negotiation between the two sides.

The decision about reopening of the border crossing was taken three days ago at a meeting between Pakistani and Taliban officials who are running affairs of the Afghan border district of Spin-Boldak which they captured last month.

However, the next day the border could not be reopened due to a Taliban demand that Afghans who wanted to cross into Chaman from Wesh should be allowed without visa and other documents. Pakistani border authorities refused to allow entry to these people without required documents.

The two sides again held talks on Friday and the border was reopened after which Afghan transit trade, and import and export of goods to and from Afghanistan resumed which had remained suspended for more than a week, causing heavy financial loss to the business community on both sides of the border.

“After negotiations with the Taliban the border has been reopened,” a senior official of the Chaman administration told Dawn, adding that not only Afghan transit trade trucks and other vehicles had been allowed to cross into Wesh and Chaman, but a large number of Afghan nationals waiting at the border for over a week had also been allowed to cross into Pakistan.

The body of an Afghan national who died of heart attack on Thursday was also sent to Afghanistan.

“The man was waiting to go back to Afghanistan for the last four days,” informed sources said.

Officials said that around 70 trucks loaded with goods crossed into Afghanis­tan while over 50 trucks entered Pakistan.

Officials said that Pakistan was allowing those Afghan nationals to enter Pakis­tan which had Afghan ID cards (Taskeera).

Pakistan has already tightened security along the Afghan border by deploying regular army troops which had replaced the paramilitary Frontier Corps.

Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2021

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