Pakistan restricts movement of Afghans through Torkham border after rise in terror attacks: Report




Islamabad [Pakistan], February 26 (ANI): Pakistan has unilaterally decided to restrict the movement of Afghans coming to Peshawar through the Torkham border, Ilhamuddin Afghan wrote in the Afghan Diaspora Network report, adding that Pakistan’s decision comes as the first two months of 2023 has proved to be deadly for the country with two major terror attacks claiming more than 100 lives.

The two attacks have targeted the security establishment of Pakistan and have been linked to the outlawed terrorist group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Pakistan has been blaming the Taliban’s inaction in controlling the movement of terrorists linked with TTP, according to Ilhamuddin Afghan.

Recently, Pakistan tightened security measures and controls at the border crossings with Afghanistan since TTP has increased terror attacks within Pakistan. Pakistan has turned towards Afghans coming into Pakistan for treatment in a bid to hide their inefficiency in controlling the terror group TTP’s activities in Pakistan, Ilhamuddin Afghan wrote in the Afghan Diaspora Network report.

Afghan forces deployed along the border have been disturbed by Pakistani authorities’ treatment of Afghans in the border posts. As per the news report, Pakistani authorities treatment of Afghan people has led to frequent clashes between the forces of both nations, as per the news report.

On February 20, there was an exchange of fire between Pakistani and Afghan border guards at the Torkham border crossing. Taliban fired upon the Pakistani border guards deployed on the border, Ilhamuddin Afghan wrote in the report.

The Taliban even closed the Torkham crossing as Pakistan did not allow Afghans to cross the border for medical reasons, the report said. Long queues of heavy trucks have been stranded on both sides of the border due to the closure of the border for three days creating difficulties for traders and people on both sides, as per the news report.

During the initial period of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021 and the ceasefire negotiation between Pakistan and TTP, not many restrictions existed on the movement along the Torkham border. Afghan patients were able to travel to Pakistan for treatment.

Afghan patients visited hospitals in Pakistan’s Peshawar to receive treatment despite the challenges of higher costs, language barriers, and accommodation problems, as per the Afghan Diaspora Network report. Many Afghan patients enter Pakistan through the Torkham border without proper documentation as the legal process of getting travel documents is lengthy and difficult.

Earlier, Pakistan officials in cooperation with the hospital authorities allowed Afghan people to enter Pakistan as this is a significant source of revenue for the hospitals. Every year, over 100,000 Afghan patients visit hospitals for various treatments. Since the Taliban takeover, the possibility for Afghans to travel to other nations for treatment has become difficult. (ANI)

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