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Pakistan: opposition law makers lash the government over border closure with Afghanistan
  • The Pakistan-Afghanistan Border
    The Pakistan-Afghanistan Border
Islamabad: The Pakistani opposition law makers have lashed the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) led government for the closure of Chaman and Torkham entry points to Afghanistan. 

Shireen Mazari the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf member of national assembly told on the parliament that Pakistan has to deal the issues through table talks with our neighboring nation Afghanistan. “If border closure with Afghanistan ends terrorism, then for the same case Wahgah border be sealed with India”, says Shireen Mazari.

Pakistani government has no foreign policy then how would the government be able to counter “terrorism”, the Premier should come and explain the country’s foreign policy and relations with India, she told. When Pakistani premier is of the view to have good relations with India for getting rid of terrorism then how would the government go for border closure with Afghanistan? “Closure of entry points has nothing to over terrorism”, told Mazari.

Earlier the defense minister (Khwaja Asif) had told that India is after terrorism in Pakistan, if he’s right then we have not to close the Afghanistan entry points instead we should go for “Wahgah”, told Mazari in her parliament speech.

Pakistan sealed the border entry points to Afghanistan when the terrorist attack took place on a Sufi Shrine in Sehwan, Sindh province that killed more than 90 civilians and wounded 200 others. 

Another member of the parliament Abdul Qahar Khan Wadan from Balochistan told the closure of Chaman and Torkham entry points to Afghanistan is no doubt “the economic assassination of our nation”, Afghanistan is one of the best market for Pakistani goods and has always provided routes to Pakistan for connecting to Central Asian Nations. 

The arrest of thousands of Afghans who have adopted Pakistan as their second home is inhumane and violation of internationally and universally accepted rights of Refugees, told Wadan via phone interview. 

“Pakistan and Afghanistan have to form good relations to go after terrorists and terrorism sanctuaries irrespective of good and bad terrorist terms”, he told. 

Wadan asked Pakistani government why they (Law enforcing agencies) should harass humans who have fled the war and conflict zones in their motherland (Afghanistan) at a time when the western countries are providing refuge to thousands of Muslim migrants in their countries. 

Afghanistan government had taken the issue of border closure on official level with Pakistan. The two country has a history of blaming each side for the terrorist sanctuaries on their soils that boost terrorism and militancy across the two countries. Though the American General in Afghanistan had earlier told about the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani Network sanctuaries active inside Pakistan. 

Earlier the Pakistan based Afghan envy Dr. Omar Zakhilwal told that the closure of border only hurts common masses. “Continuous unreasonable closure of legal Pak/Afghan trade and transit routes cannot have any other explanation except to be aimed at hurting the common Afghan people”. 

Referring to the border closure issue Zakhilwal told that he had the issue with the relevant Pakistani military and civilian leadership and he has been provided with a “convincing justification”. 

Responding to the Pakistani government argument who have justified the closure of these crossing points was needed to stop terrorists' crossing he told “cannot carry any weigh as these points such as Torkham and Spin Boldak have been manned by hundreds of military and other security personal and have all the checking infrastructure and equipment in place”, says Zakhilwal.

Zakhilwal told that 25000 Afghans who had their passports and valid visas and had come to Pakistan for health and trade purposes are stopped from going back to home. 

Thousands of people cross the Durand Line to both sides every day and billions of dollars worthy trade takes place through these entry points between Afghanistan and Pakistan every year. 

“Millions of people rely on the exchange of goods, useable like eatery, fruits, vegetables, imported machines, medicines, books and grocery as business items”, says Haji Zarif, 60, a local trader in Chaman. “Why should Pakistan starve its millions of people who are directly defendant on business with their fellow Pashtuns on the other side of the Durand Line?” asked Zarif. 

The SAARC Chamber of Commerce official Daroo Khan Achakzai is of the view that millions of dollars every day is wasted owing to the unnecessary seal of the entry points between Afghanistan and Pakistan. “It suffers the common people on both sides, who are needy to share and exchange their goods and trade items every day”, told Achakzai.
Malik Achakzai