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Kabul govt refused to keep Torkham border open round clock

10 October, 2019

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TORKHAM: The Kabul government has refused to keep the Torkham border crossing open round the clock on the pretext of lack of necessary facilities on their side of the frontier, officials said on Wednesday.

According to the fresh schedule, Afghan border security officials permit the trailers to cross only between 9am and 7pm.

Border officials from both the countries held a meeting on Tuesday evening wherein Pakistani authorities apprised their Afghan counterparts of slow pace of clearing process at the crossing point. The Afghan officials responded that the clearing procedure is slow due to lack of relevant staff. They said as counting process of votes is in progress after the presidential election in Afghanistan, they have been directed by the Kabul government not to clear trucks carrying retails commodities. On Tuesday, Afghan officials only cleared the trucks loaded with cement.

Torkham Deputy Superintendent of Police Swalzer Khan Afridi said three parking points have been set up at Bagyari, Chengai and Mechni points to ensure smooth flow of traffic between Peshawar and Torkham border. He maintained that the initiative of the Pakistani government to keep the crossing open round the clock had attracted hundreds of traders to transport their commodities to Afghanistan, however non-cooperation by the Afghan side has disappointed them.

Pakistani Customs officials at Torkham said that under the plan to keep the border crossing open round the clock, 300 extra vehicles loaded with different merchandise are being cleared by Pakistan on daily basis. However, the Afghan border authorities restrict the entry of trucks beyond the deadlines specified by the Kabul government. “Approximately 1,200 trucks cleared by Pakistan are current waiting at the border to cross to Afghanistan,” the officials said.

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