Pakistan taking steps at borders to facilitate Afghans

ISLAMABAD    -    Pakistan is taking measures to facilitate the move­ment of Afghan brethren across the border. Cur­rently, Pakistan has five crossing points operational with Afghanistan, with an average daily to-and-fro movement of approximately 13,000 individuals, in­cluding pedestrians, traders, tourists, and trans­porters. Despite having less resources and strength, Pakistan is manning over 100 counters at these crossing points to ensure smooth processing of the heavy inflow of cross-border movement.

To facilitate their Afghan brethren, Pakistan is al­lowing a large number of Afghans, especially pa­tients, journalists, women, and traders, to cross the border on non-valid documents on human­itarian grounds. Exclusive counters at crossing points have also been set up for Afghan patients and women only. Afghans entering Pakistan are al­lowed to extend or renew their status to stay in Pakistan, and Pakistan has also extended an ex­clusive offer to allow Afghan brethren to cross the border without a passport to earn a livelihood, visit a relative, address any medical emergency, or receive an education, which no other neighbour­ing country offers. Despite these efforts, about 5-6 thousand Afghan nationals are refused entry ev­ery month due to insufficient or no documents, and some of those refused Afghans falsely create a nuisance about mistreatment by Pakistani author­ities at the border crossing points.

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