LANDIKOTAL: The border authorities in Pakistan have extended the deadline for Afghan drivers and transporters to obtain a valid Pakistani visa till October 1.
The announcement was made by border authorities following a detailed meeting with a joint delegation of drivers from both nationalities in Torkham on Friday. Earlier, Pakistani authorities denied entry to a number of Afghan drivers carrying fresh fruits in their trucks to Peshawar and other cities in Pakistan.
Pakistan Torkham Transporters’ Union President Haji Azeemullah and Afghanistan Transport Union President Hasham Khan participated in the meeting with Pakistan border authorities.
Following the talks, Azeemullah said the deadline for compulsory passports with valid visa for Afghan drivers has been extended till the end of September.
However, according to Azeemullah, this was not a permanent solution as he said representatives from both transporter unions will hold a meeting next week to discuss the situation and determine the future course of action.
He said the transporter unions were likely to urge authorities in Peshawar and Islamabad to relax visa restrictions. “Afghanistan has already exempted Pakistani drivers from visa and passport restrictions,” he added.
In August, a joint delegation of drivers and transporters held detailed talks with Pakistan’s civil and military authorities in Torkham requesting them to exempt them from visa restrictions.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 17th, 2016.
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