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Pakistan to temporarily reopen Afghan passageways

AT News

KABUL: The government of Pakistan has agreed to temporarily reopen two passageways connecting the country with neighboring Afghanistan, officials in Islamabad confirmed on Saturday.

Afghanistan imports nearly half of essentials such flour, rice and cooking oil from Pakistan via the Torkham way in the east and Boldak in the south. Also, thousands of Afghans visit the neighboring state for medical treatment, trade, visiting relatives there and getting visa to other countries.

Pakistan closed all crossing points including two connecting with Afghanistan in February after the coronavirus outbreak caused globally panic.

Pakistani foreign ministry said Saturday in a statement that the Torkham and Boldak passageways would reopen temporarily within two days (April 6 to 9) for Afghan citizens.

The statement called it as “a humanistic decision” so that Afghans living in Pakistan could return to their home country.

Afghan Ambassador to Islamabad Atef Mashal, confirmed the passageways would temporarily reopen and 1,000 Afghans would use each passage to enter Afghanistan.

Thousands of Afghan nationals who had gone to Pakistan for medical treatment before the border closure, are trapped there in bad economic condition.

Earlier, Islamabad had agreed to reopen the Boldak-Chaman passage only for traders.

Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan twitted that he ordered for the Chaman-Boldak passageway despite the virus threat, claiming that Islamabad was committed to support Afghan people.

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