Number of patients from Afghanistan increased at Chaman border
File Photo: Crowd of Afghans waiting to enter their country at Pak-Afghan border Chaman

Number of patients from Afghanistan increased at Chaman border

Sardar Muhammad Khondai, Manan Mandokhail :

The number of patients from Afghanistan increased at the Pak-Afghan border Chaman in the aftermath of unfolding events in the war-ravaged country. Patients from Afghanistan’s volatile South have been coming to Quetta for medical treatment for decades.

“No medical treatment in Afghanistan”, Saleh Muhammad, an Afghan national who entered Pakistan at the Friendship gate told Quetta Voice. All private and government hospitals are jam-packed with Afghan patients currently. “Even for a minor treatment, we come to Quetta”, Saleh Muhammad said. Two burqa-clad women also accompanied him.

Pak-Afghan border reopened on August 13 

Pakistani authorities and the Afghan Taliban had agreed to open the border on August 13 after the closure of two weeks. The Taliban had closed the border seeking relief for Afghan nationals entering Pakistan. “Now Afghans having Tazkeera (Afghan identity card) can enter Pakistan”, a senior administration official at Chaman said. He requested anonymity.

“Mirwise hospital in Kandahar is functional but hospitals in Quetta are far better”, Rehmatullah, another Afghan national with a bushy black beard said. “This is not for the first time, I taking patients to Quetta”, he said.

Quetta hospitals dependent on Afghan patients 

Most of the private hospitals in Quetta are dependent on Afghan patients. The closure of the border two weeks earlier severely affected my hospital, an owner of a private hospital in Quetta said. Overnight, dozens of private hospitals were established in Quetta’s Double Road, Jinnah Road, Patel Road, and other areas because of a huge influx of patients from Afghanistan.

“Private hospital is a good business in Quetta”, Mohibullah Khan, a citizen said. He said the Balochistan government has failed to regulate the private hospitals, which are minting money right under the nose of the officials.

The flow of people from Pakistan to Afghanistan also increased after a change of the government in the volatile country. “I have relatives in Kandahar and I want to see the Taliban government also”, Muhammad Ismail, a resident of Balochistan’s Killa Abdullah district said.

Security tightened at the border

Pakistan has tightened security at the border and deployed paramilitary troops to maintain order. Pakistan has also established COVID19 test centers to conduct tests of Afghans and Pakistani nationals at the border.

“We quarantine COVID19 positive patients for seven days at the border”, the senior official said. He said all Pakistani nationals were being vaccinated at the border. “Our health teams are working hard to make sure proper vaccination at the border”, he added.

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Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.