Torkham Border reopens for trade after a temporary closure.
The Torkham border crossing with Afghanistan is reopened for bilateral trade. It was closed after the Afghan Taliban took control of their side of the border crossing early in the morning.
The security officers agreed to allow trade consignments. Perishable food products stacked in trucks and containers were allowed to pass the border.
Trucks loaded with Afghan import commodities, including fresh fruits and vegetables, also arrived in Pakistan after the two sides reached a verbal agreement.
Hundreds of trucks carrying a variety of commerce goods and food supplies became trapped at Torkham.
They stopped after learning of the Afghan Taliban’s ‘conquest’ of Nangarhar province late Saturday evening and subsequent ‘seizure’ of the Torkham border crossing early the following day. This restricted pedestrian mobility.
Farman Khan, a resident, said that the border crossing had become nearly deserted. Only the army and Frontier Corps were stationed there. In addition, they had almost vacated the Customs and NADRA offices. They did it because traders, transporters, and custom clearing agents could not come close to the border.
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The local market, restaurants, and money changer outlets were closed too.
The border had to be temporarily closed due to security concerns after the Taliban took control of the Afghan side of the border. However, they had not received any formal orders from the federal authorities to close the border.
Mr. Iftikhar further stated that the border’s later reopening would be permanent because the federal government had not formally announced its closure.
Because of the uncertainty, the early closure was a temporary arrangement at the local level.
Due to an increase in coronavirus cases across Afghanistan, Pakistan banned cross-border pedestrian travel on May 8. However, the government has permitted Afghans trapped in Pakistan to return home, albeit with legitimate travel documents.
Pakistanis trapped in Afghanistan were allowed to return. But only after passing Rapid Antigen Tests and spending ten days in quarantine at a local hospital.
Students from various educational institutions in Afghanistan were allowed to go to Pakistan via Torkham. They can resume their studies after completing the obligatory quarantine period.