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Sunday, November 28, 2021
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Pakistan’s Chaman border, closed for days due to fear of Afghans influx

A day after protesters took to the streets of Chaman to demand for the border crossing into Afghanistan to re-open, scores were seen waiting by the border road on Saturday (October 16).

Hundreds of people are stranded on both sides of the Chaman border 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 who had gone to Karachi for work.

Pakistani officials have said the border has been temporarily closed apparently due to the fear of an influx of Afghans who are trying to leave their homeland after the Taliban seized power in August.

Chaman border crossing , the second-largest commercial border point with Afghanistan after the Torkham commercial town in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, links with Spin Boldak 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 (October 15), thousands of traders took to the streets of Chaman, some on horsebacks, demanding that the border be opened.

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 refugees.

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.

Pakistan officials say they fear around a million more would enter the country if border regulations are relaxed.

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