ISLAMABAD, June 1 (Xinhua) — Pakistan introduced a new mechanism on Wednesday that requires Afghans to carry valid travel documents for crossing the border.
Pakistani officials said they have put in place the new border management system to check illegal cross-border movement as militants also take advantage of the loose control.
Spokesman for the Pakistani embassy in Kabul Akhtar Munir told Xinhua that nearly 20,000 people cross the Torkham border daily, a large majority of them without passports and visa because of relation for the locals on both sides of the border.
Some Pakistani experts suggest that people living 5 miles (approximately 8 km) on both sides could cross the border without any documents under an agreement.
Residents at Torkham said hundreds of people and vehicles were stuck at the busy border crossing due to the new system as majority people living close to the border do not keep passports and had long been crossing the border without documents.
Pakistan and Afghanistan share an around 2,600-km border and mostly porous.
Pakistani security guards at the border made announcements over the loudspeakers, warning Afghans against travelling to Pakistan without valid documents, witnesses said.
Afghanistan was seeking delay in enforcement of strict condition in view of the upcoming the holy Muslim month of fasting. However Pakistani started implementation of the new system.
Pakistani officials said the system will be later extended to other border crossings, depending on availability of funds.
Pakistan temporarily closed Torkham border last month after Kabul raised objections at the fencing of the border at some points to stop the movement of the militants. The border was later opened at the order of the country’s army chief.