Chaman border protest escalates over passport, visa policy

Published October 23, 2023
CHAMAN: Traders along with workers and supporters of various political parties stage a sit-in on a second consecutive day on Sunday to protest against the government decision to stop the Pak-Afghan border crossing without valid passports and visas from Nov 1.—Dawn
CHAMAN: Traders along with workers and supporters of various political parties stage a sit-in on a second consecutive day on Sunday to protest against the government decision to stop the Pak-Afghan border crossing without valid passports and visas from Nov 1.—Dawn

QUETTA: Workers, supporters and members of all party traders’ alliance continued their sit-in in Chaman for the second consecutive day on Sun­day, protesting against the government’s decision to make valid pass­ports and visas mandatory for crossing Pak-Afghan border.

The Pakistani government has decided to restrict border crossing to only those with valid passports and visas, effective from November 1.

After October 31, no one will be allowed to cross the Pak-Afghan border using a Pakistani identity card or Afghan permit (Tazkira).

However, the leaders of all parties, traders’ organisations and business community, who have formed an alliance, rejected the government’s decision.

Several thousand people, including political workers, supporters and traders, blocked the main highway linking Quetta with Kandahar on Saturday evening. They announced that they would not call off their sit-in until the government’s decision was revoked.

The protesters established camps on the highway, obstructing traffic towards the Pak-Afghan border.

This caused significant disruptions to the movement of trucks and other vehicles carrying import and export goods.

However, the border officials allowed Pakistani and Afghan travellers to cross the border by showing Pakistani NIC and Afghan Tazkira.

“The government decision regarding passport and visa for crossing border will render thousands of people in Chaman and on the other side of the border jobless,” Haji Jamal Khan Achakzai, a leader of Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party told Dawn.

Published in Dawn, October 23th, 2023

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