Stampede at Torkham causes delay in movement

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Ashrafuddin Pirzada

LANDIKOTAL: Pakistani authorities suspended movement via Torkham border crossing for an hour after a stampede took place due to the slow Nadra documentation process on Saturday, sources said.

Ahead of the holy month of Ramazan, thousands of Afghan citizens have been returning to their country from Pakistan via the Torkham border while Pakistanis are also returning from Afghanistan in large numbers.

On Saturday morning, more than 7,000 Afghan nationals including women, elderly men and children were standing in queues at Torkham border to get their travelling documents cleared from the Nadra office. A local official said all of a sudden a stampede occurred in which many minor children and women were slightly injured.

Meanwhile, National Logistics Cell employees tried to control the stampede and started hitting Afghan passengers with sticks.

The people later staged protest demonstrations and chanted slogans. Torkham police cordoned off the area to control the situation. Movement from and to Afghanistan remained suspended via Torkham border due to the stampede, but assistant sub-inspector Samiullah Kokikhel said they called a contingent of police and the movement resumed after an hour.