Tensions at Chaman Border as Afghans burn Pakistani flag

Pakistan has closed its border with Afghanistan indefinitely after a group of Afghan demonstrators holding placards and banners inscribed  with anti-Pakistan slogans ,attacked the Friendship Gate at Chaman and set the Pakistani flag on fire.

The incident that took place on Thursday evening has resulted in suspension in the movement of trucks involved in trade shipments between the two countries and carrying supplies for Nato forces in Afghanistan.

A large number of Afghan nationals, celebrating the 97th anniversary of their country’s independence day, gathered near the Friendship Gate after marching through the streets of the Spin Boldak town across the border.

Shouting slogans against Pakistan, the Afghan demonstrators started pelting the Friendship Gate with stones, smashing windowpanes of the building.

Exercising restraint, the personnel of Frontier Corps avoided taking any action against the Afghan protesters who swarmed the gate after seeing Pakistanis who had staged a protest against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his remarks about Balochistan the same day and were dispersing.

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

The Afghan demonstrators also tried to force their entry through the gate which had already been closed because of the Afghans’ rally.

“The border with Afghanistan will remain closed for an indefinite period,” security officials deployed at the Friendship Gate said on Friday, adding “We will not open the gate until orders to do so are received from the high command.”

Every day between 10,000 and 15,000 Pakistani and Afghan traders cross into Chaman and Vesh Mandi in connection with their business in the border towns.

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