Pakistan and Taliban to launch cross-border bus service

Pakistan and the Taliban have reached an agreement to launch a cross-border bus service between Peshawar in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa of Pakistan and Jalalabad in the eastern province of Nangarhar, Afghanistan, to solve overland travels between the two countries.

According to the Express Tribune report, the decision was taken in a meeting at the Afghanistan International Coordination Cell, aimed at resolving the transportation issues between the two countries that arose after the return of the Taliban, making air travel difficult.

The communications ministries of the two countries have initially agreed to start the service with 15 to 20-seater buses to ply on the route. Pakistan will handle customs and immigration clearance of passengers and luggage at Basrani terminal in Torkham border point, while the Afghanistan side will establish a bus terminal in Jalalabad for this purpose.

According to their agreement, the Taliban would be responsible for the security of bus services, passengers and luggage in Afghanistan.

Travelers have always been faced with many difficulties and repeated closures of key border crossings over border disputes and as well as lack of a responsive travel management between the two neighboring countries.

Last year in November, the Taliban and Pakistani officials had also agreed to resume suspended Dosti Bus Service, firstly launched in March 2006, after five years but both sides failed to go ahead with the plan for inability to find suitable transport companies.