Afghans allowed to cross Chaman border

Our Correspondent

Pakistan on Saturday partially reopened its southern Chaman crossing with Afghanistan, shut off since the Taliban seized control of the strategic border town on the other side.

Thousands of Afghans were left stranded in the town of Chaman after the Taliban captured Spin Boldak from Kabul forces on Wednesday, part of a rapid offensive that has left the government facing a crisis.

“We have opened the Chaman border… allowing crowds of up to 4,000 Afghans including women and children to cross over to Afghanistan to celebrate Eidul Azha with their families, purely on humanitarian grounds,” said a border official.

“People would be allowed to cross until the evening, with the possibility the border would open again tomorrow”, the official added.

Muhammad Tayyab, a local paramilitary official, said the decision was taken because of “relative calm on the other side”, but said the crossing would remain closed to trade.

Qudratullah, 30, who lives in neighbouring Kandahar province in Afghanistan was returning after taking his father to Karachi for a heart bypass three months ago.

“I have to come back (to Pakistan) for a routine check-up of my father, but let’s see if I am able to come back or not,” he said.

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