The Chaman border connecting Pakistan and Afghanistan that had been shut by the Taliban last week was reopened on Friday after successful negotiations between both the sides.

The decision regarding opening of the border had been taken by the concerned authorities three days ago in a meeting between Pakistani and Taliban officials who were responsible for running the daily affairs of the Spin Boldak district which was captured by the Taliban last month.

However, the border could not be opened immediately because Pakistani border authorities turned down the demand made by Taliban officials that Afghan nationals to be allowed to cross into Chaman from Wesh without a valid visa and other documents.

Consequently, both sides once again held fruitful talks that resulted in the opening of the border and the resumption of Afghan transit trade which had remained suspended for more than a week, causing heavy financial loss to the business community of both sides involved in import and export of goods.

“After negotiations with Taliban officials, the border has been reopened,” a senior official of the Chaman administration said, adding that not only Afghan transfer trade goods trucks and other vehicles were allowed to cross into Wesh and Chaman but also large number of Afghan nationals including women, children and patients who were waiting at the border since over a week crossed into Afghanistan successfully.

The body of an Afghan national who died due to a heart attack on Thursday was also sent back to Afghanistan. It is pertinent to mention that a protest had erupted at the border earlier due to this incident.

Sources said the deceased man was waiting to go back to Afghanistan for the last four days.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2021.