Thousands of Afghan nationals cross Torkham, Chaman borders
Afghan nationals wait to cross Pakistan and Afghanistan border as security personnel wearing facemasks stand beside them during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, at the Pakistan's border town of Chaman.–AFP
Thousands of Afghan nationals crossed Torkham and Chaman borders on Tuesday to enter into Afghanistan as Pakistan relaxed the restriction on the request of the government in Kabul.
Thousands of Afghan nationals including patients had been stuck in Pakistan after Islamabad closed borders with Afghanistan and Iran to stop spread of coronavirus.
The border crossings at Torkham and Chaman will remain opened until April 9 to facilitate Afghan nationals to cross into their country.
Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui had said earlier the border points were opened at the special request of the Government of Afghanistan and based on humanitarian considerations to allow the exit of Afghan nationals in Pakistan, wishing to go back to their country.
Officials in Khyber tribal district said on Monday that a large number of Afghan nationals headed to Torkham border to cross into Afghanistan.
The Afghan Embassy in Islamabad had said that arrangements will be made for the return of 1,000 people from each crossing daily.
SC on borders
Earlier in the day, the Supreme of Pakistan ordered to set up proper quarantine centers at Taftan, Chaman and Torkham borders for coronavirus patients.
Hearing a case pertaining to the closure of OPDs and availability of facilities amid coronavirus pandemic, the apex court ordered the federal government to establish quarantine facilities at all three borders within one month.
“Proper quarantine centers of 1000-bed and isolation wards should be set up at Taftan, Torkham and Chaman borders,” said SC in its order. “Each person should have a separate room, bathroom and good food,” it added.
The court also ordered better facilities at the Taftan border to screen patients and to keep them in isolation. The SC also asked to submit an implementation report in one month.