Over 8000 vehicles stranded at Torkham to enter Pakistan

Lahore [Pakistan]: Over 8,000 vehicles are stranded at the Afghanistan side of Torkham border awaiting for clearance to cross into Pakistan.

More than 8,000 vehicles both loaded and empty are stranded at the Afghanistan side of Torkham border due to the slow process of security checking by the Pakistani border guards.

The process of clearance has been slowed down since the task was taken from political administration, Dawn reported.

The Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Chaman and Torkham was opened on March 21 for vehicles after the prolonged closure of more than a month.

Dawn reported that an average of 15 vehicles either carrying import items from Afghanistan or returning empty to Pakistan, were checked and examined every hour by the border guards, where as number of vehicles used to get clearance when the task was done jointly by security personnel and local political administration officials.

Only 200 vehicles are permitted to cross into Pakistan during the 14 hours of border opening on daily basis.

However, transporters are furious over the sluggish attitude of the security guards in resisting speedy clearance to the vehicles which ultimately has caused them huge financial losses.

Moreover, Afghan authorities have started charging them with US $90 per vehicle for utilizing the parking space at the Afghan Customs building.

Transporters suggested that Pakistani authorities should provide a separate passage for empty vehicles entering the country at Torkham for expediting the process of clearance. Transporters have criticized the new policy of showing Pakistani passport at the time of entry to Afghanistan. (ANI)