Chaman border reopened after five days

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Pak-Afghan border crossing at Chaman has been reopened for pedestrian traffic and trade activities on Wednesday after remaining closed for five days.

The border crossing had been closed by the Taliban after capturing Spin Buldak, a border town in Afghanistan on August 6.

According to Levies officials, the Bab-e-Dosti gate at the Chaman border has been reopened today for pedestrians from both sides, Afghan transit trade and other legal business activities.

The Pakistani nationals stuck in Afghanistan are allowed to return homeland under COVID-19 SOPs, the officials said.

Customs officials said that Afghan transit trade and bilateral trade activities have also been resumed.

Taliban demands scrapping of visa requirements for Afghans

After taking control of border town Spin Buldak, the Afghan Taliban on August 6 had closed the border crossing between the two countries at Chaman and demanded a complete dismissal or leniency in the visa requirements for Afghans by Pakistan.

“No one would be allowed through until Islamabad dropped or relaxed its visa requirements for Afghans,” they had said.

The Taliban, wresting control of Afghanistan in the wake of a withdrawal of US and other foreign troops, last month captured the southeast Chaman-Spin Boldak border crossing from Afghan forces.

Since the Taliban took control of Chaman-Spin Boldak, Pakistani border officials there have begun enforcing visa requirements for Afghans which previously were not as strictly observed.

In a statement on Friday, the Taliban had called on Pakistan to scrap all visa requirements for Afghans.

“(The crossing) will remain closed for all types of commuting, including transit and trade, for both sides, and pedestrians, until the Pakistani side leaves the gate open, morning to evening, for Afghans holding [Pakistani issued] migration cards or ID cards,” the insurgent group’s shadow governor for Kandahar province had said in the statement.