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Pak-Afghan Dosti Bus Service banned in Afghanistan

Peshawar

July 3, 2016

Transporter alleges Afghan govt behind move

LANDIKOTAL: The Afghan transport mafia allegedly backed by the government has banned the Pak-Afghan Dosti Bus Service plying between Afghanistan and Pakistan, the bus management said on Saturday.

Haji Nasir Khan, the managing director of the Pak-Afghan Dosti Bus Service, said his bus service that used to ply between Jalalabad and Peshawar symbolized friendship between the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan. He said it has been halted by the Afghan government at a time when Eidul Fitr is around the corner.

Talking to The News, Haji Nasir Khan said he had launched the passenger bus service in 2006. He said six to 10 buses used to cross the Torkham border daily while 500 to 800 passengers from the two countries preferred to travel in the Pak-Afghan Dosti buses.

“I had met President General Pervez Musharraf in 2006 and requested him to allow me to launch the bus service. A license was issued to me after I furnished all the required documents,” he recalled. He added that since then his 15 buses and taxi cabs were providing passenger service to thousands of people travelling to and from Pakistan via the Torkham border.

The transporter said his bus service also suffered due to the recent tension between the two neighboring countries over the Torkham gate installation.

He said a month ago the Dosti buses stopped service as the Afghan transporters with the help of the Afghan government warned them not to enter Afghanistan. He said daily delivery of Pakistani newspapers and journals to Afghanistan made through his bus service has also been halted. Several workers, including drivers and other employees have lost jobs as well, he explained. He said he was earning Rs1.5 million a month from his bus service.

Haji Nasir Khan said he had formally informed the relevant Pakistan government officials, including Altaf Asghar, joint secretary, in Islamabad, director routes of Pakistan, Shoaib Dogar and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa director transport Manzoor Ahmad Khan about the ban on the Dosti Bus service by the Afghan government.

The transporter said Manzoor Ahmad Khan had also raised the issue with the Afghan government and issued clearance letters to the political agent of Khyber Agency and authorities at Torkham border.

He appealed to both the governments to provide facilities to commuters and live like brothers. He said no one could divide the Pakhtuns of the two countries with restrictions at their border.

Passengers who frequently travel to Afghanistan and Pakistan have asked the Afghan government to lift the ban and allow the Pak-Afghan Dosti buses to restart operations in Afghanistan.

Mirwais Afghan, belonging to Afghanistan, told this scribe that he lives in Peshawar and goes to Afghanistan by the Dosti buses. He said it is difficult for him to change passenger coaches and cabs to reach Jalalabad after the Dosti buses stopped plying.

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