‘Torture’ of Pakistani labourers: Border gate reopened after Afghan assurance

PESHAWAR: The Torkham border gate with Afghanistan was reopened on Saturday after an assurance from Afghan authorities that action would be taken against personnel involved in the torture of 29 Pakistani labourers, Daily Sitara Sindh reported.

The gate had been closed earlier today after Pakistani labourers reached the area and complained over their alleged torture by Afghan authorities.

The labourers had travelled to Afghanistan for work but the concerned company refused to pay their wages and allegedly tore their passports apart. They added they had also been locked up in Afghanistan’s Pul-i-Charkhi prison where they were tortured by jail authorities.

Upon reaching the border, the labourers shut the gate which led to a halt in Nato supplies and other traffic.

The Torkham gate was reopened after negotiations between Pakistani and Afghan authorities resulted in an assurance from Afghanistan that action would be taken against those responsible for torturing the labourers.

Traffic and Nato supplies also resumed when the gate reopened after a closure lasting several hours.

Foreign Office summons Afghan Charge d’ Affaires

A statement on the website of the Pakistani Foreign Office said “the Government of Pakistan takes serious note of the incident involving 29 Pakistanis who were returning from Afghanistan and were badly beaten en-route reportedly by Afghan forces despite having valid travel documents/passports”.

The statement added that “the Afghan Charge d’ Affaires was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs this morning and a strong protest was lodged, seeking an investigation into the incident and action against those responsible”.

“The Afghan government was also asked to take appropriate measures to avoid recurrence of such incidents in future,” the statement said.

It added that a similar protest was “lodged by the Ambassador of Pakistan in Kabul with the Afghan government”.

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usman hashmi

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