QUETTA: Protesters blocked Quetta-Chaman Highway for several hours on Tuesday, disrupting traffic to and from Afghanistan after the arrest of some people who have been holding protests for the last four months against the introduction of one-document regime by the federal government for Pak-Afghan border crossing.

Officials said workers and supporters of all-party traders’ alliance blocked the road leading to the passport office and started chanting slogans and tried to enter the office.

However, security forces reached the area immediately and arrested some of them and took them to FC headquarters in Chaman.

After the arrest of these people, a large number of people who have been protesting against imposing of the one-document regime for crossing international border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, gathered in the area and demanded release of the arrested people.

Balochistan Minister for Information Jan Achakzai confirmrd the arrest of half a dozen people.

“Security forces have arrested half a dozen people who were inciting other to block the road,” Mr Achakzai told Dawn.

However, late in the night, the information minister issued a statement announcing the release of four detained protesters on the guarantee of local elders and opening of Quetta-Chaman Highway.

The elders have pledged that the protesters will not disrupt the normal life of the town.

Earlier, the protesters had blocked the Chaman passport office, prompting police and Levies to remove barricades.

The roadblocks have now been removed and the highway opened for normal traffic.

Published in Dawn, February 21st, 2024

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