Pakistan to allow Afghan nationals to return home: Foreign Office

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Apr 04, 2020, 05.05 PM(IST)

File photo of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. Photograph:( AFP )

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The borders connecting Pakistan and Afghanistan are going to be opened for three days to allow Afghan nationals to exit Pakistan.

Afghan nationals living in neighbouring Pakistan would be allowed to go back to their countries, Islamabad announced on Saturday.

"At the special request of the Government of Afghanistan and based on humanitarian considerations, Pakistan has decided to allow the exit of Afghan nationals in Pakistan, wishing to go back to their country," Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement.

The borders connecting Pakistan and Afghanistan are going to be opened for three days to allow Afghan nationals to exit Pakistan.

"The Torkham and Chaman land border crossings will be opened for a specific period from 6 April to 9 April 2020 to facilitate Afghan nationals."

"As a neighbour and in view of fraternal bilateral relations, Pakistan remains in abiding solidarity with the people of Afghanistan, particularly at this time of the global pandemic," the government stated.

Since the outbreak of coronavirus in Pakistan, the borders have been closed to prevent the spread further.

The Imran Khan government had given the order to open the border earlier saying that Islamabad would continue to support Kabul.

"Despite the global pandemic of COVID-19, we remain committed to supporting our Afghan brothers and sisters. I have given instructions to open the Chaman-Spinboldak border and let trucks crossover into Afghanistan. In this time of crisis, we remain steadfast with Afghanistan," Khan had said in a tweet.

Pakistan's coronavirus cases rose to 2,708 on Saturday with COVID-19 claiming 40 lives, while 130 patients have recovered.

Punjab -- the hotspot of the viral infection in Pakistan -- reported a total of 1,072 cases, followed by Sindh at 839, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 343, Balochistan 175, Gilgit-Baltistan 193, Islamabad 75 and 11 cases in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

On Friday, the World Bank approved USD 200 million in aid to Pakistan to help deal with the impact of the novel coronavirus.