Pakistani PM Imran Khan comes to rescue Afghanistan in hour of dire need

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Pakistani PM Imran Khan comes to rescue Afghanistan in hour of dire need

ISLAMABAD - Pakistani PM Imran Khan comes to rescue Afghanistan in hour of dire need.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has ordered opening of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border at Chaman “despite the global pandemic” to support Afghan “brothers and sisters” as the novel coronavirus stalks the region.

“Despite the global pandemic of COVID-19, we remain committed to supporting our Afghan brothers & sisters,” the prime minister said in an early Friday tweet.

He added that he had given instructions to open the border between Chaman and Spin Boldak, in Kandahar. He also told authorities to “let trucks cross over into Afghanistan”.

“In time of crisis, we remain steadfast with Afghanistan,” he said.

The John Hopkins data said Afghanistan has 22 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and one death. According to International Organisation of Migration, over 100,000 Afghans were deported or returned voluntarily from Iran since the outbreak of the virus in the country.

Majority of Pakistan’s 454 confirmed cases are pilgrims who returned from Iran through the Taftan border crossing while others are with a travel history. However, more than 40 people contracted the virus locally in Sindh.

The prime minister’s decision comes at a time when countries across the globe have closed down borders and restricted air travel to contain the COVID-19 disease which has caused thousands of lives globally and infected tens of thousands others.

Here is a list of countries that have shut their borders and limited air travel.