PESHAWAR: The Afghan Taliban have stopped the return of Afghan nation from Pakistan to their country through the Torkham border, local media reported.
Security officials on the Pakistani side of the crossing point, however, said vehicular traffic continued as loaded vehicles from both sides crossed the border.
Citing the local sources, the Pakistani publication reported that hundreds of Afghans aspiring to come to Pakistan had gathered at the Afghan side of the border in the hope that the crossing would reopen for regular pedestrian movement.
Earlier in May, Pakistan closed its border for pedestrian movement in order to prevent transmission of coronavirus from across the border. The country, however, allowed Afghans to go back to their country and also Pakistanis to return.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan plunged into crisis last month after Kabul fell to the Taliban and the democratically elected government of former president Ashraf Ghani collapsed.
Pakistan reopens Torkham border
Pakistan on Tuesday opened the Torkham border crossing with its neighbour Afghanistan, in order to allow pedestrian movement. Earlier on Monday, the Torkham border was closed by the Taliban, after Islamabad had rejected the demand of Afghan nationals to enter inside Pakistan.
Hundreds of people had gathered at the Torkham border crossing on that day to enter Pakistan after a rumour was spread among Afghan nationals that Pakistan has opened its doors for them.
According to the deputy commissioner of the Khyber district Mansoor Arshad, the border has been reopened for citizens of both the countries to return to their respective nations.
Trade activities have been functioning between Pakistan and Afghanistan smoothly.
Over 30,000 Afghan nationals have returned to their country through the Torkham border and over 3,000 Pakistani nationals have returned to Pakistan after the Taliban took over Afghanistan on August 15.
Demo in Kandahar against evacuation order by Taliban
Thousands of people in Afghanistan’s Kandahar held a protest on Wednesday after being ordered by the Taliban to vacate their houses. The provincial officers of the Taliban-led Afghanistan government told the families living in the division of the Afghanistan national army land to vacate their houses in three days, reported The Khaama News Press Agency. “We have been living in this place for 20 years, we agree that this is a government place, but we have built a house here. The Taliban have been saying for days that we should evacuate these houses,” a protestor said, reported TOLOnews.
The Taliban entered Kabul on August 15 after an aggressive and rapid advance against government forces amid the withdrawal of US and NATO troops from the country.
The country plunged into crisis last month after Kabul fell to the Taliban and the democratically elected government of former president Ashraf Ghani collapsed.
Taliban resort to ‘ethnic cleansing’ in several provinces
The Taliban have “started ethnic and tribal cleansing” in several provinces of the country even as Afghans face an escalating humanitarian crisis, reports said.
They said the Taliban have ordered various non-Durrani Pashtun groups in Kandahar to leave their homes and find another place to live. Taliban are already facing criticism over the massacre of nine ethnic Hazara men in July this year after they took control of Ghazni province.
A Twitter user said the Taliban in Daikundi ordered 300 Hazara families to leave their houses.
“The Taliban have started ethnic and tribal cleansing in several provinces. In Daikundi they ordered 300 Hazara families to leave their houses. In Kandahar, various non-Durrani Pashtun groups have been ordered by the Taliban to evacuate their homes and find another place to live,” said Natiq Malikzada, a writer and journalist.
Another Twitter user said that after women it is the turn of Hazaras to be maligned by the Taliban.
“Women have already been maligned by the #Taliban. Now it’s the Hazaras turn. Taliban are still the same, said a retired DSS agent and author who tweets under handle AF-Pak Hand.
Thousands of Pashtuns poured to streets in Kandahar forcing many families out of their private houses in the Firqa area following the Taliban diktat to leave their homes.
Taliban have been more brutal and extreme in areas where they have a tighter grip and face less resistance.
Analyst Shabnam Sharifi Nacimiento said in a Tweet that Afghan citizens are losing out as the Taliban resort to their tactics.
“These are well-planned military tactics to weaken potential uprisings. #taliban lacks the intellectual capacity to think this far alone. The threat is REAL. As every day passes by, #afghans are missing the opportunity to make or break #afghanistan,” she said.
A Twitter user Helene Stadlmeyr-Sti said that the Taliban has not changed their colours over the past 20 years.
“Yes, still the same beasts as 20 years ago, if not worse, said Helene Stadlmeyr-Sti.
The Hazara minority in Afghanistan are regularly subjected to targeted killings, violence, and discrimination based on their religious and ethnic identity.
The targeted attacks have increased exponentially and the Hazara minority has been subject to daily violence by the Taliban.
Soon after the Taliban seized much of Afghanistan in a matter of days, the group destroyed and blew up slain Hazara leader Abdul Ali Mazari’s statue in Bamiyan, a grim reminder of the destruction of Bamiyan Buddhas during its previous tenure.
International organisations have warned that Afghanistan teeters on the brink of universal poverty.
According to UNDP appraisal, as much as 97 per cent of the population is at risk of sinking below the poverty line unless a response to the country’s political and economic crises is urgently launched.
The study, which analysed four potential scenarios of escalating intensity and isolation, indicated that real GDP could contract by as much as 13.2 per cent, leading to an increase in the poverty rate of up to 25 percentage points.
According to the appraisal, a combination of factors could cause the baseline poverty rate, now at 72 per cent, to balloon.
Taliban had earlier announced a “general amnesty” for all Afghan government officials and urged them to return to work, including women corresponding with Sharia law. But the older generations remember the ultraconservative Islamic regime that saw regular stoning, amputations and public executions during Taliban rule before the US-led invasion that followed the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.
The Taliban have ruled in accordance with a harsh interpretation of Islamic law and though the outfit has sought to project greater moderation in recent years, many Afghans remain sceptical in the beleaguered and impoverished country. (ANI)