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Pakistan Reopens Major Border Crossing To Afghanistan


People wait in line to cross the Afghan-Pakistani border at the Chaman border crossing on September 20.

One of the main border crossings between Afghanistan and Pakistan has reopened after being closed for almost a month, allowing the passage of thousands of commuters and hundreds of trucks.

The Chaman crossing is an important transit hub for trucks moving fruit and produce exports from the area of the southern Afghan city of Kandahar.

Its closure had been a serious hit to farmers unable to get their produce to market. Half of Pakistan's $2.5 billion worth of annual exports to Afghanistan also passes through Chaman.

The reopening of the border point comes as a relief to the Taliban-led government as Afghanistan's cash-strapped economy has few legitimate sources of foreign revenue besides customs revenues from the border posts.

Thousands of people including women and children crossed into Pakistan on the first day of reopening, according to Hazrat Ali, a local official in Chaman.

Nearly 200 trucks carrying food, medicines, and other supplies crossed the border into Afghanistan, local exporter Imran Kakar said.

Trucks carrying pomegranates, one of Afghanistan's main exports, have started arriving in Quetta, the capital of Pakistan's province of Balochistan, Pakistani media reported.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa

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