Afghan govt shutdown border post amid row with Pak
Last Updated: Monday, December 07, 2009, 23:50
Peshawar: The Afghanistan government on Monday closed the Torkham post along the frontier with Pakistan as a reaction to a decision by authorities here to restrict the movement of illegal borders crossers.

Afghan authorities did not allow anyone from the Pakistani side to cross the border.

Earlier the Pakistan government had restricted the movement of illegal border crossers at Torkham and allowed only persons with legal documents to cross over.

Truckers carrying supplies to NATO and US forces in Afghanistan and consignments of the Afghan government were permitted to cross by Pakistani authorities.

The closure by the Afghan authorities lasted an hour and a huge crowd gathered on both sides of the border.

As the situation took a turn for the worse, border officials of both sides met for brief discussions and agreed to address the matter.

Afghan officials informed their Pakistani counterparts of problems and hardships faced by their people due to the closure of the border crossing.

They demanded the relaxation of regulations and said the Pakistani government should implement its policies gradually.

The Pakistani officials said their actions had been influenced by security concerns. They pointed out that security had been beefed along the border from Shelman to Sasubi sectors.

Officials here also said that all persons possessing legal documents, including Pakistani nationals with identity cards and Afghans with identity papers issued by Pakistani authorities, were allowed to enter Pakistan.

Passport official Abdul Wahid Afridi said 700 Afghans had entered Pakistan using their passports while 15,000 to 16,000 people crossed without documents in recent days.

The closing of the border crossing caused a lot of suffering to people on both sides, especially tribal traders. Local trader Khanzad Gul said business on both sides was the only source of livelihood for many families.


First Published: Monday, December 07, 2009, 23:50

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