Visa restrictions for Afghan truckers relax


Visa restrictions for Afghan truckers relax LANDI KOTAL: The local authorities on Saturday relaxed visa restriction for Afghan truckers transporting goods to Pakistan via Torkham border.

The federal government had restricted the entry of Afghans to the country without valid passports and visas after Sept 30.

The restrictions were first imposed in June 1 when all Afghan nationals without visas were barred from entering Pakistan via Torkham and Chaman borders.

They were later relaxed for Afghan transporters, mostly having only the route permits issued by the counselor general offices of both countries in Peshawar and Jalalabad.

However, the transporters were told to secure passports and get Pakistani visa stamped on them before Sept 30 for future entry to Pakistan.

After the expiry of that deadline on Saturday, a large number of Afghan vehicles loaded with goods were denied entry to Pakistan through Torkham border as their drivers and helpers didn’t have passports and visas.

However, the local authorities later agreed to allowed entry to those with fresh route permits for trade in Pakistan.

The development came after local and Afghan transporters held talks with Pakistani officials.

A fine of Rs2,000 each was imposed on trucks, whose drivers didn’t have valid route permit.

The officials told transporters that they would need valid passports and visas for entry to Pakistan in future.

Pakistani Transporters Union president Haji Azeemullah welcomed the move and said it would ensure smooth bilateral trade.

He said more than 60 percent of Afghan transporters had got passports, while the rest would follow suit in few days.

Meanwhile, the Frontier Corps on Saturday arranged a free medical camp for the returning Afghan nationals at Torkham border.

The relevant officials said around 100 Afghans, mostly women and children, were given free medicines at the camp.

They said more doctors and medicines were needed to continue caring for the returnees free of charge.


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