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Taxi shortage leaves hundreds stranded at Torkham

Taxi shortage leaves hundreds stranded at Torkham

Mar 07, 2017 - 23:56

JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Dozens of people could not proceed to their destinations after being allowed to cross over to Afghanistan through the Torkham border crossing from Pakistan on Tuesday due to the shortage of taxi cars.

Ismail, one of the hundreds of Afghans who had been stranded in Pakistan due to the closure of the border gate, said there were insufficient facilities and hotels to spend night at the Torkham dry port.

As a result, he said, women, children and ailing people were in great trouble, urging the government to facilitate the stranded people in order to avoid a humanitarian crisis.

Another passenger, Mohammad Bashir, also held similar views and added the passengers included serious ailing people as well.

He said taxi drivers had also doubled the fare to Kabul from the previous 500 afghanis to 1000 afs.

The spokesman for the governor of eastern Nangarhar province, Attaullah Khogyani, confirmed the problems being faced by the people arriving from Pakistan at the Torkham port.

He said the provincial government had devised a plan to address the issue and had initiated serious measures in this regard.

“Right now dozens of vehicles are on the way to Torkham and all the passengers will be transferred to Jalalabad tonight.”

He said tomorrow besides other vehicles three public transport buses would be sent to the dry port to pick the passengers.

A border police official at Torkham said about 400 passengers remained at the dry port after arriving from Pakistan. He said the passengers were on road and lacked shelter.

Nangarhar public health director Dr. Najibullah Kamawal said they sent eight ambulances to the Torkham border to transfer 51 seriously ill patients to the provincial capital, Jalalabad.

He said tomorrow (Wednesday) 20 ambulances would be sent to the border to bring the ailing people to the city.

Pakistan on Tuesday temporarily reopened the two main border crossings with Afghanistan, allowing hundreds of Afghans and Pakistanis with valid travel documents to cross through the Torkham crossing in the northwest or the Chaman in the southwest.

The crossings were shut three weeks ago after a wave of suicide bombings in Pakistan.