July 1, 2021
The Pakistani foreign office said on Thursday the country’s embassy in Tehran was in close contact with Iranian authorities since they closed the border with Pakistan due to rising COVID-19 cases in a frontier town.
The Iran–Pakistan border is around 1,000 kilometers long and demarcates Pakistan’s Balochistan province from Iran’s Sistan and Balochistan Province.
“The Iranian side has closed border due to high prevalence of COVID in Zahedan,” Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, the spokesperson for Pakistan’s foreign office, told Arab News, referring to the city and capital of Sistan and Balochistan Province. “The Embassy of Pakistan in Tehran is in close contact with Iranian authorities on this issue.”
Deputy Commissioner of the border town of Chagai, Agha Sher Zaman, said the border was closed only for Pakistani citizens who wanted to visit Iran while those who wished to return home could do so — provided they had received a negative coronavirus test 48 hours prior to travel, and after they had fulfilled other prerequisites determined by the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), Pakistan’s federal pandemic response body.
The border, Zaman said, was also open for trade and for Iranian citizens wanting to return to their country: “Iranian citizens also have to have a negative test to travel back home.”
The deputy commissioner said Pakistani citizens coming from Iran were screened and tested at the border and allowed to enter Pakistan only after they tested negative for the coronavirus. Those diagnosed with the disease were quarantined, he said.
Pakistan completely closed its border with Iran on February 24, 2020 after a coronavirus outbreak in the neighboring country that month. However, the Taftan border was reopened in June last year, followed by the reopening of all five border crossing points for trade.