Only Afghan citizens, and not Pakistanis, can cross the border during the opening four days
Pakistan-Afghanistan border. PHOTOS: REUTERS / FILE
PESHAWAR: Pakistan on Monday temporarily opened the Torkham and Chaman border for four days to facilitate the return of Afghans to their country.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s government was told at a task force meeting that border crossing points at Chaman and Torkham had been opened from April 6 to April 9 at the request of the Afghan government.
According to customs officials, only Afghans can cross the border while Pakistanis are not allowed to return.
Meanwhile, bilateral trade between the two countries and NATO supplies will remain suspended.
Government spokesman Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Ajmal Wazir, said that Chief Minister Mehmood Khan had ordered all facilities to be provided to Afghans amid a coronavirus pandemic.
The meeting was told that as many as 2.2 million Khyber Pakhtunkhwa families would be given Rs 12,000 each as a four-month relief aid in the first phase under the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program.
In the second phase, a payment of Rs6,000 will be given to each family as assistance from the provincial government. The Wazir noted that the chief minister had approved Rs1.2 billion in special zakat funds for 100,000 decent families where each family would be given Rs12,000 assistance.
Speaking of 5,300 members of Tableeghi Jammat who currently live in the quarantine center, he observed CM Mehmood Khan had directed that special care should be given to them.
“The chief minister has asked to ensure timely screening and testing of all people for the corona virus so they can return to their homes as soon as possible. Until then, they will all be treated as guests, “he said.
“The chief minister has urged members of the Tableeghi Jamaat to adopt all preventive measures including maintaining social distance during their meetings and other activities,” he added.
“Of the 5,300 members, seventy percent of them are from other provinces, while 310 are foreigners.”
The chief minister asked the relevant authorities to provide protection equipment to all frontline workers based on priority and to reward medical staff for their hard work in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
The meeting was informed that after 33 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed, the number of cases in K-P rose to 405 with 16 victims.
The meeting was attended by the K-P health minister, Peshawar corps commander, chief secretary, IG police and other high-ranking officials.
With additional input from APP