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Pakistan bans Afghan entry at Torkham without travel documents

Afghanistan has so far not responded to the measures taken by Pakistan to implement a border management system at the Torkham border in order to curb the flow of undocumented travellers, Foreign Office spokesman Nafeez Zakaria said on Thursday.

Zakaria, while briefing the media, notified that “Afghanistan’s cooperation is extremely necessary in this regard”.

Pakistan has introduced new policies along its border with Afghanistan, ostensibly to reduce cross-border terrorism. But the measures are also likely to add to human suffering for the thousands of people who frequently travel back and forth for work or medical treatment.

Torkham is but one location where state monitoring has been increased; Pakistan has established 535 security check posts on the Pak-Afghan border in order to check movement of militants and illegal aliens entering the country.

“Effective border management is part of counter-terrorism efforts, which is in the interests of both countries because this is a common concern,” Nafees Zakaria, a spokesman for Pakistan’s foreign ministry, told reporters in the capital Islamabad on Thursday, without elaborating on the measures being taken. Similar action will be taken at other border crossings at a later date, he said.

Pakistani security guards at the Torkham border made announcements on loudspeakers on Tuesday, warning the Afghan nationals to not travel to Pakistan in the absence of valid documentation.

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