Pakistan helps border movement of 385,000 Afghans

Wednesday, Mar 29, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani authorities are making all-out efforts to facilitate the movement of around 385,000 Afghans a month through the Pak-Afghan border crossing points by introducing the Integrated Border Management System, exclusive counters, and other measures.

According to an official source, around 13,000 people travel to and from Afghanistan a day through the Pak-Afghan crossing points including pedestrians, patients, traders, tourists, and transporters.

The monthly volume of public movement through the crossing points stands at approximately 385,000 passengers, in addition to hundreds of trade convoys.

Currently, Pakistan has five crossing points operational with Afghanistan, which include Chaman, Torkham, Kharlachi, Ghulam Khan and Angoor Ada.

The official, rubbishing the propaganda by the Afghan and Indian media against Pakistan by reporting incidents of perceived mistreatment of Afghans by Pakistani authorities at the crossing points said despite limited resources and strength, Pakistan was manning over 100 counters at the crossing points to ensure smooth processing of a heavy inflow of cross-border movement. No other bordering country has such an exodus at their border crossings, he said. About 79 counters have been placed at Chaman and Torkham, the busiest crossing points. Pakistan has an Integrated Border Management System (IBMS) in place at the main crossings, which supports One Document Regime (valid visa/ passport). However, to facilitate their Afghan brethren, Pakistan also allows a large number of Afghans especially patients, journalists, women and traders to cross the border on Tazkera (non-valid) document on humanitarian grounds.

Exclusive counters at the crossing points have been made operational for Afghan patients and women only. The Afghan nationals entering into Pakistan either on valid or invalid documents are allowed to extend/renew their status to stay in Pakistan. The border crossing for Afghan people even those without passports, to earn a livelihood, or to visit a relative, address any medical emergency, or get an education is an exclusive offer extended by Pakistan, which no other neighbor offers, the official commented.