Torkham, Kharlaachi may be shut for good, warns Kabul – Pakistan


KHYBER: Amid in depth deliberations between authorities officers and merchants on Tuesday to seek out an amicable answer to visa restrictions imposed on Afghan transporters, the Afghan Taliban authorities threatened to completely shut down the Torkham and Kharlaachi borders with Pakistan if a mutually agreeable answer was not discovered to the lingering problem.

Sources at Torkham instructed Dawn on Tuesday on situation of anonymity that the flag assembly between Pakistani and Afghan border safety officers, held on Monday night, ended on a bitter word, with the Afghan Taliban refusing to proceed the dialogue course of if their Pakistani counterparts didn’t give you a mutually agreeable answer to the visa coverage problem for Afghan transporters.

They stated that Afghan authorities had flatly conveyed to Pakistani safety officers that the brand new restrictions weren’t acceptable to them as they weren’t given any prior formal intimation of the implementation of the visa coverage.

It was additionally learnt that Afghan authorities had demanded their Pakistani counterparts enable all Afghan transporters stranded on Pakistani soil to return to their nation, after which they’d shut the border completely by erecting a concrete wall on the essential gate.

New visa restrictions not acceptable to Afghan Taliban, Pakistani officers instructed

Border closure

Meanwhile, the Torkham border crossing remained closed for all kinds of buying and selling actions for a fourth consecutive day on Tue­s­day, with among the fruit-laden autos opting to return to Pesha­warfare for worry of their merchandise rotting attributable to a protracted delay within the opening of the border.

Earlier within the day, a delegation of native merchants and members of Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industries (SCCI) held a gathering with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa caretaker chief minister retired Justice Arshad Hussain and conveyed to him the fallout of the sudden imposition of visa restrictions.

Zahidullah Shinwari, a former SCCI president, instructed Dawn that the delegation prompt the caretaker CM to defer the implementation of the brand new visa coverage for at the very least two months to allow the utmost variety of Afghan transporters to finish the method of buying legitimate journey documentation.

He stated the chief minister was not solely knowledgeable in regards to the monetary losses native transporters and merchants had suffered because of the closure of the border, but additionally that Pakistan was in critical hazard of completely shedding the Afghan market for its varied export merchandise.

Mr Shinwari stated the chief minister assured the workforce of his ‘who­l­e­hearted’ assist in conveying their grievances to the federal authorities, however on the identical time expre­s­sed his incapability to make any cha­nges within the visa coverage on his personal, because it was not a provincial topic.

Also on Tuesday, one other assembly was held between senior customs and safety officers which mentioned intimately the present state of affairs each at Torkham and Kharlaachi border.

Customs officers had been ins­i­s­ting that the requirement for authorized journey paperwork was imp­lemented the world over, with Pakistan and Afghanistan being no exception.

They stated the Afghan authorities had been conveyed in regards to the imposition of the visa coverage a number of occasions, however Kabul had did not take any sensible steps to stick to worldwide border crossing guidelines.

The immigration official at Torkham additionally stated the brand new coverage would assist them maintain observe of all of the individuals regularly touring on either side of the border.

Published in Dawn, January seventeenth, 2024

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