To facilitate Afghan nationals, Pakistan to open borders for 4 days

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.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt