PESHAWAR: Jamaat-i-Islami, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief Prof Mohammad Ibrahim Khan has stressed the need for holding negotiations with the protesting traders in Chaman, Balochistan.

He said the government should reconsider ‘conditioning’ passport for movement between Pakistan and Afghanistan, according to a statement issued from the Jamaat’s Markaz-i-Islami here on Sunday.

Prof Ibrahim said people living along the border had family relations in each country, and moved freely across the border for years.

He added that the passport requirement for cross-border movement would create distances.

The JI provincial chief said the government must find solution to the problem, adding: “Pakistan and Afghanistan are good neighbours and bitter relations are not in their favour.”

“We support people from both the countries to bridge gaps,” the statement quoted Mr Ibrahim as saying. He added that instead of working jointly for stability of both the countries, the government of Pakistan had opened another front.

He stated that repatriation of illegal Afghan nationals had added to the unpleasant relations between the neighbouring countries. He said conditioning passport for the cross-border movement had an impact on the underprivileged.

It is to mention here that traders in Chaman have been protesting for over 40 days against the government’s decision to make valid passports and visas mandatory for cross-border movement.

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

Published in Dawn, December 4th, 2023

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