Porters,Dailywagers Stage Protest In Torkham

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Ashrafuddin Pirzada

LANDIKOTAL: Torkham Mazdoor(Labourers) union and porters on Tuesday staged a protest demonstration on the Torkham border against the hard and fast restrictions on the border with Afghanistan.

A large number of labourers and daily wagers gathered at Zero point near Torkham Nadra offices and asked the authorities to relax the border crossing for local residents. The protest was led by Torkham Labourers union president Farman Khan Shinwari.

They were holding black flags and chanting slogans against the illogical restrictions at the Torkham border crossing. They were demanding of the government to withdraw the visa and passport conditions for labourers who frequently cross the Torkham border.

Speaking on the occasion Torkham labourers union president Farman Khan Shinwari said that hundreds of labourers were earning livelihood for their poor families. He said almost ninety percent of the daily wagers have lost their jobs due to hard and fast rules imposed by the government.

He said the authorities deployed at the Torkham border must be kind with the poor daily wagers.

“A number of times border authorities personnel beat charge porters and children with sticks who transport goods from and to Afghanistan”, said Farman Shinwari.

He said for two kilograms of luggage customs officials demand Rs,1000 which they can not afford to transport from Afghanistan. He said hardly they earn rupees 800 to 1000 a day which is not enough to buy food for their children.

He said since the border is restricted they stopped sending their children to schools. He said most of the sons and daughters of daily wagers were also working with their parents to meet the high commodities prices. He said the government at least issue gate passes to labourers and those who daily cross the border so that they could continue their jobs and small businesses. He said Emarat-e-Islami officials on the Afghan side of the border were also harsh with porters.

The protest was later dispersed peacefully after the assurance that their problems would be discussed with high ups