Pakistan shuts Afghanistan border to Pashtuns; enforces ‘One Document Regime’

afghan borders closed to pashtuns
Representative Photo

Pakistan has closed the Angoor Adda crossing on Afghanistan border in South Waziristan as part of its ‘one document regime’, eliciting widespread criticism from Pashtuns living in the region and those who frequently traverse the border for trade or familial connections.

The closure has drawn condemnation from various quarters, including the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), which lambasted the Pakistan Army’s decision. PTM took to social media, stating, “Angoor Adda crossing in South Waziristan with Afghanistan remained closed, creating tragic problems for the locals. All these are colonial tactics to displace, alienate, implement ‘one document regime’ & block the mobility of Pashtuns on their own land.”

Previously, individuals crossing the border were issued Tazkira, a paper pass. This facilitated trade and familial ties between people on both sides of the border. However, the abrupt termination of the Tazkira provision and the imposition of the ‘one document regime’ requiring a passport for cross-border travel has sparked distress among Afghan Pashtuns residing in the border area.

The move came on October 21st last year, in the wake of strained relations with the Afghan Taliban and attacks by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Pakistan responded by deporting Afghan migrants and imposing stringent travel requirements. The sudden policy shift had further exacerbated tensions and disrupted the livelihoods of individuals dependent on cross-border activities across Afghanistan border.

The resentment of people culminated into months long protest at Chaman border in Pak occupied Balochistan, which was eventually dealt with violence by Pakistan Army.

The closure of the Angoor Adda is the latest development that highlights the ordeal of Pashtuns and Afghans living in Pakistan.

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