TORKHAM: The process of repatriation of Afghan refugees has started as Torkham border was opened for their entry into Afghanistan from afternoon till 6:00pm on Thursday.

A large number of Afghan refugees have gone to their country through Torkham border after its opening and the process still continues. Deputy Commissioner Khyber tribal district Mehmood Aslam Waizr said the Torkham border was opened as a goodwill gesture on the occasion of Eid and the process of return of refugees at Bab-e-Pakistan has started.

The deputy commissioner said the border corridor remains closed for routine traffic as a precautionary measure to avoid the spread of coronavirus.

A large number of Afghan refugees were stranded in Pakistan for the last month due to closure of the border due to which they were facing many difficulties. They were constantly demanding opening of the border as they wanted to go to their country. The Pakistan government then decided to open the corridor for pedestrians on May 17 and it was decided that the border will remain open five days a week for transit and one day for pedestrians.

Meanwhile, the Ahmedzai and Utmanzai Kabalkhel Wazir tribes of South Waziristan tribal district called upon the government to open the Pak-Afghan border at Angoor Adda for travellers and traders.

Residents of the area said it is a good news that Torkham border will remain open round the clock. However, they said, it is unfortunate that no one is discussing the opening of Angoor Adda border in South Waziristan. The local people said they are facing difficulties due to closure of Angoor Adda border and their businesses have suffered.

With the opening of Torkham and Chaman borders, now increasing demands are being made for opening of Ghulam Khan and Angoor Adda borders.

The transporters of North Waziristan have also demanded opening of Ghulam Khan border so that the stranded transporters on the Afghan side could come back to Pakistan.

The local transporters last week gathered in Khajori area of North Waziristan and staged protest in a traditional manner by dancing on the drumbeats. The transporters also blocked the road for all kinds of traffic near Khajori check post by burning tyres over it to record their protest.