Afghan children smuggle themselves to Pakistan each day

Pakistan’s Torkham Border, situated along the famous Khyber pass in northern Pakistan, offers a direct link between Islamabad and Kabul. It’s a major trade hub as well as the busiest crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

According to a private TV report, dozens of Afghan children come to Pakistan each day by hiding themselves under trucks to earn money for their families by selling sacks of fresh fruits, vegetables, and essential commodities

The goods also contain betel leaves, cigarettes, and toiletries. Some can be sold at a profit as they don’t require customs duty. Items that are not easily available in Pakistan are brought in from Iran.

According to the children, they cross the border once or twice a day, walking between the wheels under the freight trucks and sitting down below as soon as the border is crossed.

The children opt for dangerous this method out of fear of truck drivers because they might be tortured when caught. They earn up to Rs. 1,000 for a single sack.

“My father has died. I have to take this risk to feed my family,” one of them, an 11-year-old boy named Farid, told the Gulf journal, The National.

The children have stated that they don’t know who gives them these sacks to sell. All they know is that an anonymous person hands the sacks over to them in Afghanistan and they have to deliver them to an agent in Pakistan.

They wait for the trucks to arrive and as soon as it slows down, they run away from inside the tires and hide somewhere.

During a conversation with foreign media, an Afghan driver said that the children hide under the vehicle every day. Sometimes they get hurt, and often when caught, they are sent back by the army when they cross the border without permission.

Now that the Taliban have full control of Afghanistan, it may be a little difficult to cross the border. It could take days as the newly announced government has not yet formulated any crossing process, The National reported.

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