Islamabad, March 6, (Dawn): Pakistan will temporary open border crossings at Torkham and Chaman for two days to allow stranded Afghan nationals to return to their country, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said on Monday.
Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Pakistan Omar Zakhilwal had earlier said that Afghanistan would make arrangements to airlift thousands of Afghan nationals who are stranded in Pakistan because of the abrupt closure of the border by the Pakistan government alleging that the openings in the border are being used to transport militants to carry out terrorist attacks in Pakistan.
A MoFA press release said the government decided to open the border crossings on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 7 and 8, “in order to provide an opportunity to those nationals of Afghanistan who had come to Pakistan on valid visas and wish to return to their country.”
Crossing points will also allow Pakistanis visiting Afghanistan on valid visas to return to the country, the Foreign Office said.
“All concerned at the two crossing points have also been informed, the FO statement added.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz also conveyed the decision to the Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Omar Zakhilwal by telephone.
Zakhilwal, in a Facebook post in his native language, confirmed that the border crossings were to be temporarily opened for two days, but added that Pakistan and Afghanistan have not yet reached an agreement on permanently reopening the border crossings.