Pakistan reopens Chaman, Torkham border for trade

Interior ministry allows cargo trucks, pedestrians crossings following NCOC decision


A Reuters file image.

LANDI KOTAL/ QUETTA: Around 1,000 people crossed the Chaman border crossing with Afghanistan on Saturday after the government opened the country's western border point in Balochistan, as well as at Torkham in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The interior ministry issued a notification late on Friday, announcing the round-the-clock opening of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border at Torkham and Chaman for six days a week for cargo traffic, and reserved Saturday for the pedestrian movement.

The border was closed on March 27, 2020, as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of Covid-19. Later it was opened for three days a week in April. The decision of opening of the border was taken in the meeting of NCOC (National Command and Operation Centre) on Friday, the notification said.

According to a notification, the border will remain open 24 hours at Torkham and for specified timing at Chaman for six days except Saturday, which will be reserved for pedestrian movement. It said that standard operating procedures (SOPs) for air passengers would be applied to pedestrians.

“Torkham border will remain open for 24 hours/six days a week (except Saturday) and an unlimited number of trucks will be allowed per day, while ensuring proper SOPs and guidelines for both Afghan Bilateral Trade and Afghan Transit Trade,” read the notification.

“Chaman border will remain open for six days a week (except Saturday) for specified timings (as already notified) and an unlimited number of trucks will be allowed per day while ensuring proper SOPs and guidelines for both Afghan Bilateral Trade and Afghan Transit Trade,” it added.

“Saturdays will be reserved for the pedestrian move only as per procedure already in vogue. Standard Quarantine Protocols/SOPs (as applicable for air passengers) will be implemented for pedestrians as well,” the notification said.

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