Thousands rush into Afghanistan as Chaman border crossing reopens

Thousands of people from Pakistan rushed into Afghanistan as the Chaman border crossing reopened on Tuesday after almost a month of closure.
The Chaman border crossing is the second-largest commercial border point between the two countries which reopened after talks between the Afghan and Pakistan governments, Pakistani media reported.
“This border was closed for one month and three days. People were in great distress and discomfort. There was no work, no food,” said Bacha, an Afghan national.
The crossing, a vital source of customs revenue for the cash-strapped government in Afghanistan, was originally closed by Pakistani authorities due to security threats. Disputes over issues ranging from COVID-19 to the validity of Afghan travel documents have prevented the re-opening of the Chaman crossing, despite severe hardship to truckers and local farmers. In late October, hundreds of traders in Pakistan protested the border’s closure by blocking a local highway.
As Afghanistan sinks deeper into an economic crisis, neighbouring countries have been increasingly worried about a mass movement of refugees.

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