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Bridging The Gap
Stranded Afghans take shelter in mosques, shops near Torkham.
  Monday 04 May, 2020
Stranded Afghans take shelter in mosques, shops near Torkham.

LANDI KOTAL: Scores of stranded Afghans including women and children have taken temporary shelter in different mosques, shops and even abandoned railway tunnels in Landi Kotal for the last four days in hope of going back to their country.

Pakistani authorities allowed 3,915 Afghan nationals to go back to their country via Torkham border on April 28 as a gesture of goodwill. Authorities, however, had not made any formal announcement about the opening of Torkham border for return of Afghans on that day.

Hearing about the unannounced return of their countrymen, hundreds of more Afghans flocked to the border crossing with the hope of going back to their country. Pakistani authorities, however, closed the border and the Afghans, who had come to Torkhum, got stranded near the border.

The desperate Afghans, hundreds in number, took temporary shelter in two mosques at Landi Kotal Bazaar and abandoned railway tunnels on railway track leading to the border point.
Taking mercy on the desperate Afghans, some local traders and shopkeepers also offered them to stay at their empty shops and residential flats at the bazaar while some shifted to homes of their local friends.

Sher Wali, a resident of Jalalabad, said that he spent all his money and was staying at the main mosque of Landi Kotal Bazaar. He said that the mosque caretakers and some local traders pooled money for their Iftar and Sehri.

Mr Wali said that women and children were the worst affected as there was no separate arrangement for lodging and bathrooms.

Enzar Gul, anther elderly person from Kabul, said that some of them spent the first night under open sky without having any food for nearly 48 hours. He said that some of the stranded Afghans even approached their country’s consulate in Peshawar but to no avail.

He appealed the Pakistani border and security authorities to allow them to go back to their country.
SUICIDE: A young activist of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf from Bara tehsil of Khyber tribal district committed suicide on Sunday.

Family sources said that Arif Jamal Afridi, a resident of Shalobar area, had a brawl with some family members and shot himself. He was injured critically.

He was immediately shifted to Hayatabad Medical Complex in Peshawar but he could not survive.

The deceased was one of the founding members of PTI in Khyber tribal district. He was later laid to rest with large number of his party workers and relatives attending his funeral.
source:https://www.dawn.com/news/1554319/stranded-afghans-take-shelter-in-mosques-shops-near-torkham

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