Pakistan on Saturday reopened the Torkham border for vehicular traffic, allowing the movement of over 7,000 trucks stranded there for the last six days amidst bilateral tensions.
The Torkham border crossing — a vital commercial artery and a trade route for Pakistan to Central Asian countries — was shut by the Afghan Taliban on Sunday after Islamabad accused Kabul of providing safe havens to the Pakistan Taliban militants whose cross-border attacks have led to a spike in violence in this country.
Earlier, the Pakistan government reopened the Torkham border only for pedestrians while over 7,000 trucks laden with goods, including perishable items like vegetables, poultry, and eggs, were stranded.
Torkham border from the Pakistani side has been opened and all vehicular movement including that of cargoes has started, said Director Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI), Zia-ul-Haq Sarhadi.
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He had earlier said that the border closure would inflict enormous losses to exporters and businessmen if the Pakistani government did not open the gate.
The Afghan side opened the gate on Thursday but it remained closed from the Pakistani side, causing concern among businessmen and other stakeholders of the Pak-Afghan trade.
Closure of the border is not only inflicting losses in millions of rupees to the national exchequer but also creating a lot of problems for ailing Afghans who want to come here for treatment, Zia had said.