Visa made compulsory for Pak-bound truckers at Torkham

Khyber  -  Besides pedestrians the Pakistan- bound truckers will also not be permitted to cross in via Torkham Border without visa and passport after October 31, 2023.

It is worth to mention here that earlier drivers’ community was exempted of visa formality and they could only produce passport while crossing into Pakistan.

Sharing information Assistant Director, Federal Investigative Agency (FIA) Torkham Yasar Arafat said that as per the government policy all kinds of entries including pedestrians and truck drivers through Torkham crossing would be restricted without proper travelling documents.

The drivers who lacked visa and passport will not be allowed to cross the Torkham Border into Pakistan, he added.

After Army Public School, Peshawar incident, passport and visa policy was adopted at Torkham Border however, the drivers were exempted from proper visa but producing passport at the border was made compulsory for them.

As per the Border Security and Custom Department officials, approximately 800 trucks daily cross the Torkham Border in the form of carrying export or import goods.

When contacted the Transport Association Torkham president Haji Azeemullah said the new policy of visa for drivers would bring movement of the truckers at the border to halt.

Instead of loading and unloading trading goods, the driver would stand in long queues outside embassies and consulates and would wait for days to get a visa, he observed. 

He urged the government to establish a separate desk for drivers in embassies and consulates to get visas easily or arrange a token system at the border.

Gul Muhammad, an Afghan driver of a Kabul-bound truck said that thousands of drivers lacked visas and it was impossible for embassies and consulates to issue them visas in a short period. He urged to revise the restricted scheme for transporters at the border and facilitate them to deliver the merchandise commodities on time in either country without tension.

The business community also expressed their concern over the visa, made compulsory for the truckers.