–Cargo trucks allowed to cross over into Afghanistan thrice a week
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has decided to extend closure of borders for two more week due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, Chaman-Torkham border will remain open until Thursday over Afghanistan’s request.
The decision was taken in the latest session of the National Coordination Committee (NCC) chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday to review measures for curbing the spread of COVID-19.
In a statement, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Security Division Moeed Yusuf said that although it was previously decided that the borders would remain closed till April 11, the closure has been extended for two more weeks.
“Chaman-Torkham border will remain opened until Thursday Afghanistan’s over. Moreover, Pakistan has granted permission to stranded Afghan citizens to move to Afghanistan on humanitarian grounds. The federal government has also allowed sending specific food items to Afghanistan as well,” said Yusuf.
“It is our national responsibility to bring back Pakistanis. However, flight operation will remain shut till April 11 and stranded Pakistanis will be brought home through special flights,” he added.
Separately, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said that Pakistan has decided to allow movement of cargo trucks and containers to cross-over into Afghanistan thrice a week starting from April 10 on the neighbouring country’s request.
She said that the decision was taken following consultations and coordination between the two countries as per agreed upon protocols.
“Responding to Afghanistan government’s special request, and based on humanitarian considerations, it has been decided to facilitate the movement of cargo trucks and containers to cross-over into Afghanistan through Torkham and Chaman border crossing points thrice a week (on Monday, Wednesday and Friday) from 10 April 2020 onwards,” she added.
The FO spokeperson further said that Pakistan remains in abiding solidarity with the people of Afghanistan, particularly at this time of global pandemic.