Torkham bor­der clo­sure costs bil­lions of ru­pees loss to na­tional ex­che­quer

Pakistan Observer - - NATIONAL -

NASIB SHAH SHINWARI KHYBER AGENCY—The Pak Afghan bor­der Torkham was re­mained closed on third day, as fourth round of talks be­tween Pak and Afghan au­thor­i­ties failed to peace­fully to set­tle down fenc­ing is­sue, of­fi­cial sources said Thurs­day.

A round of talks started on Thurs­day when an Afghan del­e­ga­tion led by Afghan bor­der po­lice chief Zabi­hul­lah Shinwari hold ne­go­ti­a­tions with Pak se­cu­rity and civil au­thor­i­ties led by As­sis­tant Po­lit­i­cal Agent Landik­toal Rahimul­lah Mehsud and Com­man­dant Khyber Ri­fle Force Colonel Tariq Hafeez.

Rahimul­lah Mehsud said the Afghan of­fi­cials re­quested to open the bor­der but their de­mand was re­jected un­til and un­less the con­struc­tion on fence is started. Mean­while, clo­sure of Torkham bor­der has badly suf­fered the busi­ness of lo­cals and it has been ob­served by the lo­cals that a less num­ber of trav­ellers and cus­tomers were seen in Karkhano markets, Landiko­tal and Torkham bazaar and taxi stands near Afghanistan.

A ho­tel owner Se­lahudDin said me­di­a­men that he has a ho­tel in Torkham and was not able to go there to earn liveli­hood for his fam­ily due to the bor­der clo­sure. He said he used to earn Rs.1500 per day but now a day he was wor­ried how to af­ford his fam­ily ex­penses due to the clo­sure of Torkham bor­der. He de­manded the of­fi­cials of both coun­tries to re­solve the is­sue peace­fully.

An­other ho­tel owner Ash­faq com­plained the lo­cals who were work­ing at var­i­ous ho­tels; of­fices and taxi stands have been badly af­fected from last three days. I has been learnt that many trucks loaded with fresh fruits and veg­eta­bles get rot­ten and ac­cord­ing to a truck driver Ah­mad the Torkham bor­der clo­sure was caus­ing a big loss to the trans­porters of both coun­tries.

Hun­dreds of Afghan cit­i­zens in­clud­ing aged women, men, chil­dren and trucks car­ry­ing goods to Afghanistan were seen parked on Pe­shawarTorkham high way which is caus­ing bil­lion ru­pees loss to na­tional ex­che­quer. Talk­ing me­dia men in Landiko­tal a fam­ily mem­bers of Gardez Afghanistan told Pak­istan Ob­server they have brought their 60 years old Haji Thurab to Pe­shawar hos­pi­tal who was kindey pa­tient and now wait­ing to cross bor­der.

Mir Ah­mad Khan said their pa­tient was in crit­i­cal con­di­tion and the of­fi­cials of both coun­tries should re­solve the bor­der is­sue to re­open it. An­other Afghan of Khugiano Nin­garhar prov­ince Pakhtoon said this scribe they have also brought some pa­tients of their fam­ily to Pe­shawar hos­pi­tal and when they reached Landiko­tal they found the bor­der was closed which dou­bled their mis­eries.

The afghan cit­i­zens thanked lo­cals of Landiko­tal for their hos­pi­tal­ity and said their love and re­spect with Afghans in this hard time will never be for­got­ten. Lo­cals of Landiko­tal of­fered the Afghan cit­i­zens shel­ter and food at var­i­ous places in Landiko­tal. Haji Qas­teer the res­i­dent of Nin­garhar told Landiko­tal jour­nal­ists peo­ple of both coun­tries were Mus­lims and hav­ing re­la­tions with each other.

He told no one could di­vide them. He de­manded the of­fi­cials of both coun­tries to re­solve the Torkham bor­der is­sue.

He said hun­dreds of Afghan most of them were chil­dren and women have been trapped in Landiko­tal and sur­round­ing ar­eas.

The of­fi­cial sources said that a fourth round of talks be­tween the of­fi­cials of both coun­tries failed and the bor­der were still closed on the third day till fill­ing this re­port.

LANDIKO­TAL: Pak-Afghan Torkham bor­der re­mained closed for the third con­sec­u­tive day on Thurs­day.

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