LANDIKOTAL: Traders,locals, and political leaders on Wednesday jointly arranged protest sit-in against the closure of Pak-Afghan border that caused billion of rupees losses to the businessmen and traders across the border.
Hundreds of participants, including shopkeepers, custom clearing agents, importers and exporters, and leaders and workers of different political parties, were holding black flags, placards, and banners in their hands, they were chanted slogans for peace in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The protesters marched in Landikotal bazaar and gathered at Bacha Khan Chowk.
Speakers including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf central leader Shahid Khan Shinwari, Jamat-e-Islami Landikotal Ameer, Muqtadar Shah Afridi, Pakistan People Party leader Shah Rehman Shinwari,transporters association president Azeemullah,PMLN leader Sajid Afridi, and others said Pakistan and Afghanistan should resolve the border issue and bring peace in both countries.
PTI leaders Shahid Khan Shinwari said former parliamentarians from Khyber district did not take interest to resolve citizens’ problems.He said not only Afghanistan but Pakistan and its citizens receiving losses due to the closure of Torkham border. He said Pakistan and Afghanistan must revisit their decisions and chalk out friendly policies for each other.
Torkham custom clearing agents association president Mirajuddin Shinwari said that traders received billion of rupees losses in the past one week border closure. He said thousands of passengers were stranded on both sides of the border who were also passing through a hard time.
He said not only traders but hundreds of clearing agents, shopkeepers,taxi cabs, drivers, and labourers were also deprived of their earning for their poor families. He said billion of rupees fresh fruits and vegetables got rotten in Afghanistan being transported from to Pakistan.
He said that as goodwill gestures, Pakistan should reopen the border for the sake of Pakistani and Afghan citizens living across the border.
Custom Clearing agent and Pashtun Tahafuz Movement(PTM) Khyber coordinator Aftab Khan Shinwari said more than eight thousand passengers were daily crossing the border who were waiting on bothsides of the border.
Shinwari said more than twelve hundred labourers who were the lone bread winners of their families have lost jobs due to the border closure.
speakers threatened that if the border had not reopened within the two days for business activities, they would be compelled to establish a protest sit-in near Zero Point in Torkham.
It may be added here that Torkham border crossing was closed a week ago after both sides exchanged gun fire over the construction of bunker near Zero point.
Hundreds of loaded and empty trucks could be seen parked at various private parking lots and road sides in Landikotal and Jamrud waiting for the reopening of the border.