Ambassador to Afghanistan seeks opening of borders for stranded Afghans in Pakistan

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The Ambassador to Afghanistan, Atif Mashal, said the Pakistani government had promised to open border crossings so that stranded nationals could return to Afghanistan.

Hundreds of Afghan nationals, the majority of whom had come to Pakistan for treatment, are stuck in Pakistan because of the closure of the Afghanistan and Iran border. Pakistan extended the border closure for another two weeks last week.

The ambassador said the Pakistani government had promised to reopen the crossing for a few days after his efforts and contacts with Pakistani officials. He said the Afghan embassy would arrange transportation of the embassy for patients and families with a view to closing transportation in Pakistan. “We will wait for the Pakistani government’s decision on Monday and hope that our people’s problems will be addressed,” Mashal said in a series of tweets.

He advised Afghan citizens to show courage as the whole world is in a difficult situation due to the corona virus pandemic. “Many Pakistanis have been stranded abroad and nationals of other countries are stuck in Pakistan,” he said. “We will continue to work to find a solution to the problems facing Afghans living in Pakistan.”

Representatives of Afghan refugees said they are currently having problems transferring bodies to refugees who have died in Pakistan. They said that the transfer of the bodies required the permission of the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which usually leads to a delay in the transfer of the bodies to Afghanistan.

Mashal said he had received no information about the harassment of Afghan refugees in Pakistan in the situation that resulted from the pandemic.

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