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Monday, May 20, 2024

PM Khan abolishes gate pass at Torkham border?

While citing SAPM in Establishment Shehzad Arbab, Mansoor Ahmad Khan said, “The decision to eliminate the gate pass will go a long way to facilitate movement of Afghan people to Pakistan.”

In a bid to facilitate Afghans coming into Pakistan, the Federal Cabinet decides to abolish gate passes at the Torkham border. The decision comes as Afghans traveling into Pakistan on a regular basis complain of extortion at the border.

Pertinent to note, no officials in Pakistan have confirmed the news yet. However, Mansoor Ahmad Khan, Pakistan’s ambassador to Kabul, took to Twitter to appreciate the decision.

While citing SAPM in Establishment Shehzad Arbab, Mansoor Ahmad Khan said, “The decision to eliminate the gate pass will go a long way to facilitate movement of Afghan people to Pakistan.”

Read more: Pakistan dispatches 300-ton edibles to their Afghan brothers

Pakistan recently reopened its borders to Afghanistan for trade activities. Afghans required a gate pass along with a valid visa for entering Pakistan.

However, claims surfaced regarding corruption by officials in visa and pass issuance. Reports state that officials demanded $500 US for the gate pass. Moreover, fake letters were being generated for these passes at exorbitant rates.

Now with the government’s decision to discontinue gate passes, Afghans can cross the border on a valid visa.

Read more: NLC to upgrade Torkham Border to International Standards

Tensions at Pak-Afghan border?

While PM Khan facilitates Afghans’ easy and legal crossing into Pakistan, reports come of border clashes between the Taliban and Pakistani border security.

According to the latest reports, tensions between the Taliban and Pakistani border security are growing.

https://twitter.com/Natsecjeff/status/1443534023775633410?s=20

Moreover, sources claim that the clash resulted in three Pakistani casualties. Even Kabul News reported on it. But on the other hand, there is no confirmation of the news from the Pakistani side.

Important to note, clashes at the border are not an uncommon occurrence. Back in August, Pakistani border forces clashed with Afghans stranded on Pakistan’s side of the border after its closure by the Taliban.

To clarify, the Taliban closed the border in protest to Pakistan’s decision to end visa-free travel for Afghans.

However, Pakistan could not agree to it amid fears of terrorists easily entering the country with the Afghans.

Nevertheless, as the Taliban settle in their role as Afghanistan’s new government, and in a bid to strengthen ties with Pakistan, they have repeatedly assured Pakistan that there will be no terror attack from their side.

Read more: Pakistan is an integral regional power: Taliban govt