Thousand of Pakistani truckers abandoned in Afghanistan
PESHAWAR: Around 1,000 Pakistanis truckers are stranded in Afghanistan for over a month, and they have demanded the government to take measures for their safe return. These drivers drove transit cargo and petroleum products to Afghanistan and the borders were closed as part of precautionary lockdown against COVId-19. The stranded drivers last week staged a protest near the Torkham border in Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, complaining that they had run out of essential resources and urged the government to make preparations for their repatriation. Government had opened the border for Afghan nationals to return to their country, while trucks carrying goods were also allowed to cross, but no measures have been taken for drivers’ return to the country. The drivers have parked their trucks in Afghanistan and have to pay rent to the parking lot which was exacting a toll on their thin wallets. Shams Burney of Bonded Carriers Association said the cargo vehicles should be allowed to move as usual, and proper precautions should be taken. He said cargo flights were on, and in the same way vehicular traffic should be allowed movement. It may be mentioned here that over 1700 vehicles are stranded at Torkham border, and the goods also include perishable items. Government has allowed one way traffic, but just 20 vehicles are crossing the Afghan border, at this speed the backlog would keep increasing.