ISLAMABAD - Pakistan on Saturday decided to temporarily open its borders with Afghanistan only for four days to facilitate Afghan citizens to leave for their country amid coronavirus fears.
On the special request of the government of Afghanistan and based on humanitarian considerations, Pakistan decided to allow Afghan nationals currently in Pakistan to leave for their country, the Foreign Office said in a statement.
According to the announcement, Pak-Afghan border from land crossings at Torkham and Chaman will be opened for a specific period from 6th April to 9th April to facilitate Afghan nationals.
“As a neighbour and in view of fraternal bilateral relations, Pakistan remains in abiding solidarity with the people of Afghanistan, particularly at this time of global pandemic,” the statement said.
On March 2, Pakistan had closed its border with Afghanistan at Chaman crossing as part of its efforts to prevent spread of conoravirus from the neighbouring countries. On March 16, the government had also closed Pak-Afghan border at Torkham for two weeks.
On March 19, Pakistan had closed its border with India at Wagah crossing for two weeks. The Ministry of Interior in an announcement had said that that the closure of border was in the best interest of both Pakistan and India as confirmed cases were rising day-by-day.
On March 27, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Security Moeed Yusuf said in a statement that federal government had decided to keep its western and eastern borders completely closed for another two weeks to prevent further spread of coronavirus. He said the National Coordination Committee (NCC) for COVID-19 that met on March 26 under the chair of Prime Minister Imran Khan has taken this decision.
Pakistan has already sealed its border with Iran at Taftan since Feb 23 following the outbreak of pandemic in the neighbouring country.