QUETTA: Pakistan on Monday reopened its border with Afghanistan at Chaman, which remained closed for a week hampering trade between the two neighbouring countries as well as the movement of people through the Friendship Gate.
On Nov 13, the border at Chaman was closed for an indefinite period after an armed suspect from the Afghan side opened fire on Pakistani security personnel at Friendship Gate, resulting in the martyrdom of one soldier and injuries to two.
The decision to reopen the border was taken at a meeting between Pakistani border authorities and Taliban officials held in Chaman.
“The border has been reopened after successful negotiations with the Afghan authorities with some conditions,” Chaman Deputy Commissioner Abdul Hameed Zehri said, adding that the decisions taken at the meeting would be strictly implemented.
The Afghan government assured Pakistan that the terrorist involved in the firing would be arrested as soon as possible and brought to justice.
After the opening of the border, Afghan transit trade as well as import and export of goods between the two countries have resumed.
Hundreds of trucks carrying goods were stranded on both sides of the border which created a shortage of tomato, onion and other vegetables in Balochistan.
Official sources said Pakistani customs on Monday cleared a large number of trucks which crossed into Afghanistan loaded with different goods, while trucks also entered Pakistan from Spin Boldak.
A large number of Afghan and Pakistani citizens struck up on both sides of the border due to closure of the crossing point were also allowed to cross into their respective countries.
FIA officials said only those Pakistanis were allowed to enter Chaman who had legal travelling documents and national identity cards. “Afghans carrying their country’s identity cards were also allowed to enter Pakistan,” the officials said.
Meanwhile, security has been beefed up at the Pak-Afghan border in view of the Nov 13 firing incident.
Published in Dawn, November 22nd, 2022