Pakistan close Torkham gate at Pak-Afghan border
By Sajad - Fri Dec 28 2012, 6:40 pm
Pakistan on Friday closed the Torkham gate at the Pak-Afghan border after truck drivers complained of alleged torture of two of their Pakistani colleagues at the hands of Afghan officials and took out a protest.
Two truck drivers were heading into Afghanistan for work when they were intercepted by Afghan security personnel at a check post and were allegedly subjected to torture, a source told Dawn.com.
The Afghan personnel also reportedly tore up the passports of the drivers along with their other travel documents.
The ‘tortured’ Pakistanis returned to the Pak-Afghan border where they were joined by other truck drivers who held protests against the treatment meted out by the Afghan personnel. Drivers had complained that Afghan security personnel routinely harassed and tortured job-seekers at various check posts situated within Afghanistan.
This comes as at least 29 Afghans were thrashed and their travel documents torn near the Torkham border on Thursday, apparently in retaliation to a similar attack on Pakistani workers by Afghan officials last week.
Officials said that the attackers included relatives of the 29 Pakistani laborers who were allegedly harassed by members of the Afghan National Army (ANA) at Pul-e-Charkhi area of Kabul on Friday. Following this incident, Pakistani authorities had closed the border for six hours on Saturday.
Sources said unidentified people equipped with sophisticated weapons, on Thursday noon, appeared on Landi Kotal-Torkham Road near Michini post and started misbehaving with Afghan nationals. As the Afghan national protested, the gunmen dragged them out of the passengers’ vehicles, tortured them physically, snatched their valuables and tore their passports
However the Torkham border gate with Afghanistan was reopened the same day after an assurance from Afghan authorities that action would be taken against personnel involved in the mistreatment of the Pakistani labourers and that such incidents would be avoided in the future.