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Pakistan reopens border with Afghanistan at Chaman

Pakistan reopens border with Afghanistan at Chaman

Feb 27, 2016 - 21:47

KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): The border crossing between Afghanistaninfo-icon and Pakistaninfo-icon has been reopened after remaining closed for several days, officials and traders in southern Kandahar province said on Saturday.

Afghan traders claimed incurring “heavy financial losses” due to the closure of the Friendship Gate at Chaman border town by Pakistani security officials.

Haji Syed Ali, the Spin Boldak district chief, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the gate, which had been closed by Pakistan security forces, was reopened on Saturday.

He said the transit trade route had been closed by Pakistan for reasons best known to the neighbouring country.

He said when the border crossing was closed he had informed the government in Kabulinfo-icon.

The governor’s spokesman, Samim Khpalwak, also confirmed the route’s reopening, but he was clueless about the reason behind its closure.

He said authorities in Pakistan had previously also many times closed and reopened the border crossing.

Thousands of people and vehicles carrying commercial goods travel between the two countries on a daily basis through the Friendship Gate.  It closure not only creates problems for commuters but also leads to heavy financial losses for traders.

Haji Syed Mohammad, who trades in food and fresh fruits, said he suffered heavy financial losses due to the closure of the border crossing.

He said his trucks loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables remained stranded across the border in Pakistan for four days and the products had decayed.

He said traders should be informed in advance about the closure of the gate in order they could review their business affairs.

The trader said Pakistani officials had many times closed the border crossing even during harvest seasons for several days, inflicting heavy financial losses on Afghan traders.

Similarly, thousands of Afghans who visited Pakistan for medical treatment, business and other issues, had been stranded due to the gate’s closure.

A resident of Kandahar, Nazir Ahmad, told Pajhwok Afghan News that he spent three nights in Chaman waiting for the border to be reopened.

He said had gone to Pakistan with his family for medical treatment and when they reached Chaman on return the border was closed and no one was allowed to cross into Afghanistan.

He urged the Afghan government to talk to Pakistan over the issue to ensure that such situation was avoided in future.

The Kandahar governor spokesman said the provincial administration had shared the issue with the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs to take it up with the Pakistani Embassy in Kabul.


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