Pakistan with the consent of Afghan Taliban, opened the previously closed Chaman Border for Afghan Nationals to return back to Afghanistan.
PAKISTAN – Thursday July 15th, Chaman border that connects Afghanistan with Pakistan opened for a few hours. Both the countries opened their border so that people who were stuck on either sides could go back to their home countries.
The authorities reopened the border later on Saturday, 17th July for allowing thousands of Afghans to go back to their country. Pakistani nationals also crossed the border and came back to Pakistan. Security at border was pretty strict in Pakistan’s territory. Only people with official and correct documents got the permission to cross.
On 15th July, around 800 Afghans returned back to their home land, whereas around 160 Pakistanis came back. Assistant commissioner, Arif Kakar in his statement regarding the matter said, “Pakistan has reopened its border with Afghanistan on humanitarian grounds to allow Afghan families to return home and celebrate Eid in their country.”
Taliban took over Afghanistan
Taliban, ever since the departure of US and NATO forces, has started to overtake multiple areas of Afghanistan. As of now, Taliban has been able to capture all the borders of Afghanistan and also the areas surrounding them. This opening of borders and exchange of refugees also took place after Afghanistan took over ”Wesh” – the area surrounding the Chaman border. Since after Taliban taking over, the region is relatively calmer than before.
According to sources, Taliban forces have established controls at every other borders and have deployed its fighters there. Offices which previously belonged to Afghan forces have now been captured and are being used by Taliban. An official of Levies force in a phone call said “We can see armed Taliban sitting at Friendship gate on Afghan side while hoisting the Taliban Flag”.
He also added that they have removed Afghanistan’s official flag from the friendship gate and also other official buildings.
Civil War indication in Afghanistan
The situation in Afghanistan as of now is pretty intense and they are suspecting a civil war at any moment. This is happening because after the departure of foreign forces such as US and NATO, the afghan government lost its support in its fight against Taliban. This made the Taliban strong. Now, with no one to stop them, Taliban are constantly capturing more and more areas. They are looking forward to establish its own government in Afghanistan.
Also See: Is Pakistan going to allow US bases in the premises?
Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan’s refusal to the US for building bases to fight against Pakistan show that Pakistan is playing a neutral role. It is clear that Pakistan only wants peace in the region. Pakistan currently hosts 3 million Afghan refugees. Experts suggest that if a war takes place in Afghanistan again, Pakistan would control the number of refugees it takes in and accommodate.
During the opening of the Chaman border, a lot of Afghan nationals including women and children were seen with their bags and other items packed together. A lot of Afghanis were seen carrying edible items such as wheat flour, ghee and cooking oil they bought from Quetta and local markets.
Soon after they heard the news, Afghan Nationals rushed towards the border. This shows that they were surely excited to go back to their homeland. However they were also fearful and confused as to what the future holds for them and their country. Afghan nationals who had jobs in Pakistan, were worried about what would they do if they couldn’t return to Pakistan since Afghanistan has a major unemployment problem.
Qudratullah, a native of Kandahar when asked about his reasons for coming to Pakistan said that he came for his father’s 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.”