MIRANSHAH: The transporters of North Waziristan tribal district have called upon the government to make arrangement for return of their colleagues stranded in Afghanistan.

The local transporters on Wednesday 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. Commuters faced difficulties due to closure of the road.

The protesters said over 200 Pakistani drivers are stranded in Afghanistan due to coronavirus lockdown and closure of Ghulam Khan border. They said the drivers are stranded there for the last two months and they are not being allowed to come back to Pakistan. They said the families of the stranded drivers are highly perturbed over the situation. They said the family members are concerned about their safety and they are also worried that they may remain separated from their loved ones during Eid which is just nine or ten days away.

The protesters said that the policy of Torkham and Chaman borders must also be applied on Ghulam Khan border and it must be opened for drivers without any delay. They said they will continue their protest if their demand was ignored.

After closure of Torkham border on March 16, a large number of transporters from Pakistan and Afghanistan were stranded on both sides of the border. However, the Pakistan government later on formed a strategy for the stranded transporters and they can now come via Torkham border, but they will have to stay first in quarantine centres established in Khyber tribal district.

The people arriving at the quarantine centre are being provided the facility of test. If anyone is infected with the virus, then they are also provided treatment at the quarantine centres. Many people arriving from Afghanistan have tested positive for coronavirus so far. There are still many people who are stranded on both sides of the border and they are demanding repatriation to their homes.

The stranded people have appealed to the government to allow them to come to their homes for Eid.