- Says travelers will be tested for the virus and quarantined if the results come out positive
(Karachi) Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said that only those people who have been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus will be allowed to cross the Torkham and Chaman borders.
Addressing a media briefing in Rawalpindi on Sunday, Rashid said: "The travelers will be tested for the virus and quarantined if the results come out positive."
He added that the Torkham border is open for vaccinated people. "Due to an increase in Covid cases, the government has decided to take a number of steps to secure people and prevent the spread of the Delta variant," he stated.
Regarding the situation in Afghanistan, the interior minister said that today's Taliban are different from the ones in the past. "Taliban today believe in agreements and talks instead of war."
He pointed out that Pakistan's stance on providing air bases to the US won't change under any circumstances.
About the Azad Jammu and Kashmir elections, he maintained that the relations between the government and opposition will improve after the polls are held on July 25.
He was confident the PTI would win the AJK elections and work for Kashmiris under the leadership of Imran Khan. The PM will visit the region in the upcoming days along with his ministers, he said.
On July 6, Rashid announced that cross-border movement at Torkham had been halted as the crossing was closed to control the spread of coronavirus from the neighboring countries on the instructions of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).
The decision was taken in wake of an increasing number of Covid infections in travelers at Torkham and Chaman borders. Earlier, 34 Pakistanis tested positive for coronavirus on return from Afghanistan via the Torkham border.
Health officials at the Pak-Afghan Dosti Hospital in Torkham said that all infected people were quarantined at the District Headquarters Hospital in Landi Kotal. In wake of the Covid-19 infections, the authorities closed the Torkham border for pedestrian movement.
Trade with Afghanistan remained suspended for several days but later the border was opened for cross-border movement after scores of jobless labourers and porters held a protest demonstration in Landi Kotal.