Creation of checkpoint near Torkham border sparks protest
PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): Transporters, drivers and terminal owners have staged an angry protest against what the high-handedness of Pakistani paramilitary troops in the border town of Landikotal.
They blocked the Torkham-Landikotal highway for two hours chanted slogans against the creation of a Khyber Rifles checkpoint near the border with Afghanistan.
Carrying placards and black flags, the demonstrated closed the busy road to protest what they called unnecessary checks of commuters, including patients from the neighbouring country.
Tribal elders Farzand Shinwari and Rahim Gul Shinwari led the rally, which was attended by a large number of drivers, union leaders and owners of bus, coach and car stops.
The speakers accused the security personnel, including paramilitary soldiers, of unnecessarily stoppingcommuters at Shaheed Morin the name of checking travel documents.
In many instances, Farzand Shinwari alleged, the Afghans -- including patients -- were forcibly sent back to their country. Women were also asked to show identity cards and other travel documents, he said.
Rahim Gul Shinwari complained the undue checks often resulted in traffic jams, inconveniencing travellers. Most of the passenger coaches were asked to go back and unload the passengers, he said.
If the checkpoint was not abolished, the speakers warned, they would be left with no option but to continue protests. The protestwas called off after local officials assured them of resolving the issue.
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