Monday May 27, 2024

Torkham, Chaman borders opened for six days a week

May 17, 2020

PESHAWAR: The government has announced opening of Pak-Afghan border at Torkham and Chaman posts round the clock, six days per week, reads a notification issued by the Ministry of Interior, issued on late Friday night.The border was closed on March 27, 2020 as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of Covid-19. Later it was opened for three days a week in April. The decision about opening of border was taken in the meeting of National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), said the notification.

Both the borders will remain open 24 hours for six days except from Saturday which will be reserved for pedestrian move only as per procedure already in vogue. The standard operating procedures (SOPs), as applicable for air passengers, would be implemented for pedestrians as well, the notification added.

During six days when the border will be open, unlimited number of trucks will be allowed to cross per day while ensuring proper SOPs and guidelines for both Afghan bilateral trade and transit trade.

The decision has been hailed by business community terming it as a milestone in promoting trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) provincial candidate from PK-105, and Convener FPCCI for Afghanistan and Central Asian Countries Trade Committee Shahid Khan Shinwari told this news agency that they worked day and night for the opening of the border since he was appointed the FPCCI convener. He also thanked to Afghan businessmen delegations, officials of the Afghanistan border force who held meeting recently at Torkham border with delegation from Pakistan including businessmen, people from the trade and officials of the border security force from both sides and discussed ways and means to make ensure enhancement of bilateral trade ties between two brotherly and neighbouring countries.

He along with people from the trade and business communities had several meetings with the concerned officials to ease the closure of Torkham border due to coronavirus and gradually resume business activities.

“Our efforts worked and Prime Minister’s Secretariat issued with a clear reference to his two meetings,” he informed.

About the recent meeting at Torkham on Thursday last, Shahid Khan disclosed that the Pakistani delegation included Sector Commander Brigadier Shaukat, Commandant Khyber Rifles Col Bilal, Wing Commander Col Abrar, Khyber Chamber leaders Col (R) Muhammad Siddique Afridi, Syed Jawad Hussain Kazmi, Jaber Shinwari, Assistant Collector Customs Torkham Usman Aziz and other Customs officials and NLC while from the Afghanistan side Commander Border Force of Afghanistan Kamsiyar Yousafzai, GM Torkham Afghan Gumrak, Haji Zalmay of Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and prominent businessman Haji Bashir and other border officials of Afghanistan attended the meeting.

He said Afghan government and the Afghan Embassy in Islamabad sent a written request to the Pakistani government regarding the re-operation of the Torkham border, early clearance of stranded trucks on both sides of the border and issues of more facilitation to the traders and businessmen at the border and the government responded positively to that request which further cemented the trade ties.