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Mehrab Afridi

LANDIKOTAL, 04 July: Thousands of passengers including men and women of old age and children are awaiting to travel across Torkham border to celebrate Eidul Fitre with their relatives in Afghanistan and Pakistan as some of the Afghan transport mafia  backed by the Afghan government has barred the entry of Pak-Afghan Dosti Buses into Afghanistan, the Bus management said on Saturday.

Haji Nasir Khan, the managing director of Pak-Afghan Dosti Bus service, said that his Dosti bus service was symbolizing friendship between people of Pakistan and Afghanistan. He said it has been halted by the Afghan government to run between Jalalabad and Peshawar, hardly a few days before Eidul Fitre.

While talking to reportes Haji Nasir Khan said that he had started passengers’ Bus service between Peshawar and Jalalabad in 2006.He said six to ten buses daily cross the Torkham border while five to eight hundreds passengers of both the countries preferred to travel on Pak-Afghan Dosti Buses.

“I met with General(R) Pervez Musharraf in 2006 and requested him for starting bus service between Pakistan and Afghanistan. A license was issued to me after I fulfilled all the required documentation”, recalled Nasir and added that since then his 15 buses and taxi cabs were providing passenger services to thousands of passengers travelling to and from Pakistan via Torkham border.

He said the recent tension over the Torkham gate installation between the two neighboring countries, his bus service was also suffered. He said a month ago Dosti Buses stopped its services as Afghan transporters with the help of the Afghan government warned them not to enter Afghanistan. He said daily supply of Pakistani newspapers and magazines to Afghanistan done through his bus service has been also halted. He said with the halt and suspension of his 15 buses service, several workers including drivers and other crew members lost their jobs.

Khan said he was getting 1.5 million rupees per month from his bus service. He said he formally informed the concerned Pakistani about the ban by the Afghan government. He said Manzoor Ahmad Khan Khyber Pakhtunkhwa director transport  had also raised the issue with Afghan government. Nasir Khan appealed from both the governments to provide facilities to commuters and live like real brothers.

Passengers who frequently traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan have asked the Afghan government to uplift the ban and allow the Pak-Afghan Dosti Buses to run in Afghanistan. Merwais Afghan,an Afghan national told this scribe that he lives in Peshawar and used to go to Afghanistan by Dosti Buses. He said it was too difficult for him to take many passenger coaches and taxi cabs while reaching to Jalalabad.

“I used to go along with my family members in a Dosti bus from Peshawar and  reach Jalalabad while crossing the Torkham border without any hurdle”,