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Pakistan closes Torkham over virus fears

AT Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Pakistan has closed a key crossing point with Afghanistan and has not given any time frame for its reopening.

Pakistan Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad announced that the Torkham terminal will be closed starting July 6, until further guidance from the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), the body responsible for Pakistan’s coronavirus response.

Earlier, the NCOC reported an uptick in new COVID-19 cases over the previous seven days and issued a warning that a fresh wave of the pandemic may hit Pakistan in July.

Pakistan has reported 964,490 confirmed cases, with 22,452 deaths from coronavirus since last year.

The decision to close Torkham in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province comes as the security situation has been worsening in Afghanistan, with the international troops leaving the country and the Taliban rapidly gaining ground.

This is relations between the two neighboring countries is never been normal. Kabul and Islamabad have been accusing each other of hosting terrorist groups. But from Afghan sides, plenty of evidences were shown to the Pakistan authorities over sanctuaries and the homes of the militants in Pakistan, but this always denied by Islamabad.     

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