For the third consecutive day, the Torkham border remains shuttered, citing the newly enforced passport and visa mandate for transporters. A significant number of vehicles from both sides are stranded, awaiting clearance.
At the Michani check post, distressed drivers shared their predicament, stating that they loaded cargo from Peshawar, only to discover upon reaching Torkham that drivers without visas are barred. Expressing concern, they emphasized the detrimental impact on trade if such interruptions persist.
The drivers fervently appealed to high-ranking officials from both countries, urging them to convene and swiftly find a resolution. They underscored the importance of ensuring that vehicles transporting fresh fruits and vegetables, at the very least, receive permits.
Torkham Customs Clearing Agents, addressing the media, stressed the need for leniency in visa and passport requirements for transporters. They argued that the prevailing poverty and unemployment in the region exacerbate the hardships faced by the local population.
Transporters and individuals involved in trade expressed their concerns, highlighting the close economic ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan. They cautioned that if trade becomes entangled in government politics, both nations will suffer, leading to increased poverty and challenges for the people of both countries.