Around 50k traders lose jobs due to Chaman border closure

Chaman is one of two main border crossings between Pakistan and Afghanistan, with the second crossing present in the north at Torkham….reports Asian Lite News

Around 50,000 small and medium traders have lost their jobs due to the closing of the Chaman border crossing at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Former president of Chaman Chamber of Commerce Jamaluddin Achakzai said the closure of the crossing is costing local traders Rs100 million each day, according to Express Tribune.

Chaman is one of two main border crossings between Pakistan and Afghanistan, with the second crossing present in the north at Torkham.

As a result of the closure, 1,450 Pakistani trucks — some loaded with dry fruits while others empty — are parked near the other side of the border, Express Tribune reported.

Meanwhile, Pakistani trucks on this side of the border were also parked whereas the crew of these trucks have nowhere to go. “Some of them don’t even have money for food and other basic essentials,” he added.

Haji Jalat Khan, another former president of the Chaman Chamber, called on the federal government to announce an immediate reopening of the border.

Afghanistan and Pakistan have two border crossings, — Torkham and Chaman — both have been closed on and off since the Taliban took control in August.

Islamabad — which has closed the border several times in recent months — blamed the Taliban for the recent closure of the Chaman crossing, however, the latter has not issued any official statement over the matter so far, according to Samaa TV.

Meanwhile, a strike was observed against the closure of the border. The strike was called by All Parties Traders Alliance at the Chaman border area after the closure of the Pak-Afghan border for more than two weeks, Dawn reported.

Several rounds of negotiations between Afghan officials and border authorities of Pakistan for reopening the border have remained fruitless, the Pakistani publication reported.

A delegation headed by Kandahar Governor Mullah Yousaf Wafa also held talks with Pakistani authorities at Spin Boldak, but Afghan authorities refused to open the border until Afghan nationals are allowed to cross into Pakistan on Afghan Teskera (identity card), Dawn reported.

Pakistani border authorities said that they had not closed the border at Chaman but it was a decision taken by Afghan officials in Kandahar.

Leaders of the All Parties Traders Alliance Lala Jan Achakzai and Sadiq Achakzai said the business community was facing huge financial loss due to the closure of the border for the past 17 days. They said prices of goods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, had gone up in the local markets as supplies from Afghanistan had been suspended, Dawn reported. (ANI)

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