Pakistan reopens Torkham border for pedestrians

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Tuesday reopened a key border crossing with Afghanistan for pedestrian movement, an official said.

Torkham border — one of the two main crossings between the two neighbours — was closed by the Taliban on Monday after Islamabad rejected their demand for allowing all Afghan citizens gathered at the border to enter the Pakistan side.

According to Mansoor Arshad, the deputy commissioner of the Khyber district in which the Torkham border falls, the border has been reopened for stranded Afghan and Pakistan nationals to return to their respective countries.

Hundreds of Afghans had gathered at the border on Monday to enter Pakistan after rumours that Islamabad has opened its border.

Only those who require medical treatment are being allowed to enter Pakistan, apart from the evacuees who are going abroad.

Trade activities between the two sides have been going on smoothly.

Since August 15, when the Taliban took over the control of Kabul, over 30,000 Afghans returned to their homeland through the Torkham border from Pakistan and some 4,000 entered Pakistan, according to officials.

Pakistan and Afghanistan share 18 crossing points — the most frequently used are Torkham and Chaman.

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