PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): A delegation of elders of tribal elders from the Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province has called for easing visa restrictions to facilitate the free movement of people across Durand Line at Torkham.
A 50-member delegation of elders from Nangarhar met representatives of Shinwari, Zakhakhel and Shalman tribes and political leaders in Landikotal on Sunday.
Lal Agha Kakar, head of the visiting delegation, spoke about the problems the Afghans in general and residents of border areas in particular faced during their visits to Pakistan via the Torkham crossing point.
Women, children and elderly people were forced to wait for hours on different pretexts, he complained, claiming several pregnant women had given birth to babies at the crossing point.
He grumbled many patients had lost their lives as a result of rush and suffocation in the pedestrian terminal and delays in immigration clearance.
Kakar added the travel conditions had made pedestrian movement harder besides depriving many young people of their jobs and businesses on both sides.
Malik Masal Khan, who headed the Pakistani elders, alleged women from both countries were facing an insulting situation on both sides of the During Line.
Speaking on the occasion, Malik Darya Khan urged the tribal Pakhtuns to shun differences and work together for their joint welfare. “You are not our guest but are like members of our families. If Sikhs from India can avail free visas at Kartarpur, why not the people of Afghanistan?” he asked.
They had come to Pakistan on visas, which were really hard to get, said Zahid Shinwari, an Afghan student from Nangarhar.
Zainullah, a resident of Nangarhar’s Dur Baba district, asked the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan to allow them unhindered access and let the tribespeople live together.