Torkham border: movement of those lacking travel documents restricted

After the expiry of a two-month deadline, authorities at the Pak-Afghan border in Torkham denied entry of Afghan nationals not holding valid travel documents into Pakistan, here on Wednesday.

Earlier, authorities had held a flag meeting with the border authorities of Afghanistan on 30th April for strict compliance of the border management policy. But the Pakistani officials on the request of the Afghan government agreed to delay implementation of the new border supervision policy for a period of one month.

On the end of the deadline, the Pakistani officials at the Torkhan border denied entry of all Afghan nationals into Pakistan not holding valid visas or Rahadari cards and not a single Afghan national was not allowed entry into Pakistan.

Official sources said, they have been instructed by the authorities, not to allow any person to enter Pakistani territory without valid travel documents. The Frontier Corps (FC) troops deployed on the zero line checked travel documents and Afghans not possessing legal travel documents were not allowed to enter Pakistan.

In retaliation the Afghan border police suspended movement of trucks carrying goods from Pakistan into Afghanistan while travelers were allowed to cross over. Long queues of trucks loaded with goods bound for Afghanistan from Pakistan and stranded travelers were witnessed on both sides of the Pak-Afghan border with women, children and infants being most affected due to the hot weather.

Later, the Afghans agreed to allowed entry of goods transport with valid documents into Afghanistan. The local tribals expressing their displeasure over the actions of the Afghan border authorities said the situation would greatly harm the businesses of the locals.

It is pertinent to mention that under the National Action Plan, Pakistan has formulated a comprehensive strategy for securing its Western border and monitoring the movement of Afghans into Pakistan via the Torkham border.

Also, a barbed wire fence along the border on the Pakistani side has been erected to restrain the movement of illegal aliens, militants and other anti-state, anti-social elements entry into Pakistan. –Business Recorder