Pakistan -Afghanistan border in Chaman shut

Quetta (Pakistan), Aug. 20 : The Pakistan-Afghanistan border at Chaman has been shut by the authorities after reports surfaced yesterday that a large number of Afghan demonstrators attacked the Friendship Gate and disrespected the Pakistani flag.

The incident that took place on Thursday evening and now has led to suspension in the movement of trucks involved in trade shipments between the two countries, reports the Dawn.

"The Friendship Gate at the Pak-Afghan border has been closed after the flag burning incident," the Dawn quoted a senior security official, as saying.

He said that the border with Afghanistan will remain closed for an indefinite period. "We will not open the gate until orders to do so are received from the high command," officials deployed at the gate said.

According to reports, large number of Afghan nationals, celebrating the 97th anniversary of their country's Independence Day had gathered near the Friendship Gate after marching through the streets of the Spin Boldak town across the border.

During the march they carried placards and banners inscribed with anti-Pakistan slogans. The Afghan demonstrators later started pelting the Friendship Gate with stones, smashing windowpanes of the building.

The Frontier Corps personnel avoided taking any action against the Afghan protesters who marched to the gate after seeing Pakistanis who had staged a protest against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks on Balochistan the same day.

Reports suggest that Afghan demonstrators snatched the national flag from a Pakistani protester who stood close to the Friendship Gate and set it on fire.

Meanwhile, hundreds trucks, carrying NATO supplies and goods for Afghanistan and Pakistan, have been stranded on both sides of the border.

Every day around thousands of traders from both the countries cross into Chaman and Vesh Mandi in connection with their business in the border towns.

Following the incidents, security has been stepped up at the border after more Frontier Corps personnel had been deployed.

Source: ANI