World, Asia - Pacific

Pakistan-Afghanistan border opens for cargo trucks

Main crossing points between two countries would remain open for trade three days a week amid coronavirus pandemic

Shadi Khan Saif   | 10.04.2020
Pakistan-Afghanistan border opens for cargo trucks

KABUL, Afghanistan

After weeks of closure, two main crossing points for bilateral trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan were opened on Friday.

Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar province, told Anadolu Agency that the first convoy of hundreds of stranded cargo trucks had started entering Afghanistan.

“The crossing points would remain open three days a week, and trucks would be allowed after passing through certain safety measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus,” he said.

Earlier this week, Aisha Farooqui, spokesperson for Pakistan's Foreign Ministry, announced that the move was "based on humanitarian considerations," and "in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan at this time of global pandemic."

"It has been decided to facilitate movement of cargo trucks and containers to cross-over into Afghanistan through Torkham and Chaman border crossing points thrice a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) from April 10," she said in a statement.

The war-torn country has reported 521 confirmed virus cases, with a total of 15 deaths and 32 recoveries.

In Pakistan, at least 4,600 people have tested positive while 66 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally. Over 700 have regained health.

Both the states have imposed partial lockdowns, directing people to stay home as much as possible.

The virus has infected 1.6 million people, and claimed more than 95,000 lives, in 185 countries.

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