Quetta: According to customs authorities, Pakistan reopened the Chaman border crossing on Monday, enabling over 100 trucks carrying supplies to pass into Afghanistan. Pakistan has blocked the Chaman-Spin Boldak crossing, a crucial port for landlocked Afghanistan, to commercial traffic after heavy fighting for control of the border erupted earlier this month between Taliban rebels and Afghan security forces.
The restoration of economic activity between the two nations was officially declared by Chaman Deputy Commissioner Juma Dad Mandokhel.
“Pakistan has reopened its border with Afghanistan at Chaman today, resuming Afghan Transit Trade, which had been halted for the last month,” said Arif Kakar, a senior official of the Chaman border area.
It would be open six days a week, he said. According to two Pakistani customs officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Spin Boldak and the border town of Wesh are still under Taliban control, and they have no idea what protocols are in place across the border or who is passing goods through customs. Traders were pressuring Pakistani officials to allow trucks through because the items they were transporting would perish if they didn’t. Requests for response from Afghanistan’s interior and finance ministries, as well as the Taliban’s spokesperson, went unanswered.
The government has also declared a shift in policy on the flood of migrants as a result of the fighting in Afghanistan, and Pakistan would not accept any more refugees for the first time.
Traders from Pakistan and Afghanistan asked Islamabad and Kabul to put their political differences aside and work together to increase bilateral and transit commerce between the two countries last month.