Pakistan’s Chaman border, closed for days due to fear of Afghans influx
A day after protesters took to the streets of Chaman in Pakistan to demand the re-opening of the border crossing into Afghanistan, scores were seen waiting by the border road on Saturday.
Afghan Voice Agency (AVA)_Hundreds of people are stranded on both sides of the crossing that has been closed for almost two weeks now.
“This border has been closed for the last 13 days. We have been sitting here for the past 13 days for it to open. We come here at 8:00 in the morning, but by 10:00 we go back, because they (officials) are saying it could not open for months. Whatever money we had earned, we have spent all of it here,” said Sami Ullah, a laborer from Baghlan province who had gone to for work.
Pakistani officials have said the border has been temporarily closed apparently due to the fear of an influx of Afghans who want to leave their homeland after the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) seized power in August.
Chaman border crossing , the second-largest commercial border point with Afghanistan after the Torkham commercial town in Khyber , links with in the Afghan province of Kandahar, and is used by thousands of labourers, as well as traders, from both countries on a regular basis.
On Friday, thousands of traders took to the streets of Chaman, some on horseback, demanding that the border be opened, Reuters reported.
According to reports, thousands of Afghans have been gathering near the border in their efforts to sneak into Pakistan which has already announced that it was not in a position to accept more .
Already around three million Afghan refugees are already living in Pakistan, some for more than three decades, since the invasion of their country by the Russians in 1979.
officials say they fear around a million more would enter the country if border regulations are relaxed.