Afghanistan shuts down Torkham border, halts trade with Pakistan

Torkham border

PESHAWAR: Afghanistan has shut down the Torkham border crossing with Pakistan after the latter imposed visa requirements for Afghan drivers.

This has resulted in the suspension of trade activities between the two countries.

According to sources, Pakistan had announced that Afghan drivers would need visas to enter its territory. Since then, the entry of trucks at the border has been blocked, although ordinary citizens can still cross with a visa.

However, many Afghan drivers claimed that they have applied for visas but have not received them yet. They said that this affects their business and livelihood.

Rahatullah, an Afghan driver, said, “When Pakistan asked for a visa, I applied for it but it was rejected.”

Another driver, Rehmanullah Atmanzai, said that he paid “1,500 to 2,000 Afghanis for the visa, but still did not get it.”

The drivers said that they have to travel secretly in Pakistan without a visa. They also have to pray, eat, and order food in secret.

Advanced visa verification system installed at Torkham border to curb illegal immigration

They said that they have to pay extra money to Pakistani citizens to get food. “If we get a visa, we don’t have to hide and fear in Pakistan,” Atmanzai said.

He also suggested that the visa should be issued at the border instead of at the embassy.

This is not the first time that the border crossing has been closed.

In September, it was closed for more than a week after a clash between the border forces of the two countries.

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