Pak-Afghan border at Torkham set to reopen

The Pak-Afghan border at Torkham is set to reopen with relaxed travel document requirements starting Tuesday (today) until March 31, 2024.

This decision comes after a delegation of Afghan transporters and Chamber of Commerce representatives met with Pakistani trade officials at the embassy in Kabul and requested the reopening of the Torkham border for the second time in as many days.

Initially, Pakistan had introduced new visa and passport requirements for drivers and their assistants, which Afghanistan rejected, leading to a disagreement between the two sides and the subsequent closure of trade.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and chamber of commerce delegation engaged in discussions with Pakistani embassy staff to seek relaxation in visa requirements, citing the impact on trade.

Pakistan has now accepted the request from Afghanistan and granted a relaxation until the end of March for drivers.

Read also: Hundreds rally against Torkham closure

The closure of trade routes had resulted in thousands of vehicles being stranded, carrying items such as vegetables, onions, fruits from Iran and Central Asia, as well as coals. During the closure, Pakistan’s exports to Afghanistan remained at zero, a customs official told The Express Tribune.

Afghanistan government spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid has indicated that an agreement is near, and the public can expect positive news soon.

Officials stated that currently, various border crossings, including Chaman, Torkham, Ghulam Khan, Angur Ada, and Kharlachi, are closed, causing a significant daily loss estimated at Rs680 million for both sides.

The closure has persisted for ten days, impacting trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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