Massive protests erupt in Pakistan’s Chaman district demanding withdrawal of new border policy
The protest has been going on for seven months straight and only intensifying

at 1:15 am
POK and Kashmir News
Ongoing protests in Chaman against new border crossing regulations

Quetta, May 22: Massive protests erupted along the Chaman border of Pakistan’s Balochistan province, with people storming the streets and blocking the national highways, cutting it off from the rest of the country as part of protests against the government’s new Pakistan-Afghanistan border policy which has resulted in strict military control over a once free-crossing.

The protest has been going on for seven months straight and only intensifying, with protesters demanding the withdrawal of the policy. The measure was enacted by the Pakistan government amidst the Army’s intense conflict with the Afghan Taliban, resulting in Pakistan closing the border and maintaining strict watch.

Before, Pakistanis and Afghans would cross the border upon showing their respective identity cards. However, the transition from a relatively open to a regulated crossing with stringent document requirements has adversely affected the lives of the locals.

The call to block highways was given Tehreek-i-Tahafuz Ayeen-i-Pakistan (TTAP), a six-party opposition alliance, in support of the participants of Chaman sit-in, demanding the withdrawal of the new regulation and resumption of the old system which allowed travel on Pakistani National Identity Card and Afghan ID card, called Teskera.

TTAP workers and supporters erected barricades and big boulders on the main roads, blocking all the main highways such as the Quetta-Chaman, Quetta-Zhob, Quetta-Dera Ghazi Khan and Quetta-Karachi and roads which connect Balochistan with Karachi, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, effectively suspending all kinds of traffic between Balochistan and other provinces.

Since the protests, hundreds of vehicles, including passenger coaches, buses and trucks loaded with import and export goods have remained stranded on the highways and roads.

However, the government is not budging an inch from its decision as the watch has only tightened with armed skirmishes taking place between the Pakistan Army and Afghan Taliban, frequently killing Pakistani soldiers.

But in a temporary relief, the TTAP workers and supporters removed the barricades from the highways and roads in the night, restoring traffic due to the immense heat, which was impacting all passengers.