ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday directed authorities to open the Chaman-Spinboldak border between Pakistan and Afghanistan and said Islamabad would continue to support Kabul during the global coronavirus pandemic. “Despite the global pandemic of COVID-19, we remain committed to supporting our Afghan brothers and sisters. I have given instructions to open the Chaman-Spinboldak border and let trucks crossover into Afghanistan. In this time of crisis, we remain steadfast with Afghanistan,” PM Imran said in a tweet. Earlier, ex-Afghanistan CEO Abdullah Abdullah had thanked PM Imran for keeping the Chaman-Boldak border open. “I thank PM Imran and Pakistan government for accepting our people and traders’ call to keep the Chaman-Boldak border open for the flow of foodstuff and key commodities at this critical time,” Abdullah had tweeted. He had added that Afghanistan highly appreciates this gesture as it further strengthens bilateral ties between the two countries.
Pakistan has reported 456 confirmed cases of coronavirus and two deaths in the country. Afghanistan, on the other hand, has reported 22 cases of the virus, making it one of the few countries with a relatively low rate of coronavirus spread. Globally, the virus has infected 176 countries with more than 9,700 people dead and over 234,000 infected by the disease. The epicentre of the outbreak has now shifted to Europe, with Italy surpassing China in the number of deaths on Thursday.