World

PM orders immediate re-opening of Pak-Afghan border

PM orders immediate re-opening of Pak-Afghan border

"However, the decision to re-open the border is being taken as closure of the border for a long time in the backdrop of religious, culture and historical ties between the two countries would not be in the interest of the people and the economy", said the prime minister.

Sharif reiterated that durable peace in Afghanistan is imperative for peace and security in Pakistan.

Retailers in Kabul, the Afghan capital, said prices of fruit and vegetables sold at market have doubled as they rely on illegal transporters, while the cost of rice has risen by as much as 30 percent. The clashes had kept Torkham, one of the busiest crossing points between the two countries and used by 15,000 to 20,000 people and hundreds of vehicles daily, closed for six days. Following a series of suicide bombings across Pakistan, the military blamed "hostile forces" in Afghanistan and ordered a shut down of the 1,510 mile porous and disputed border. Afghanistan depends on Pakistani ports for its imports. Islamabad said armed groups operating from Afghan soil had carried out the attacks.

At face value, Pakistan's moves reflect concerns over Islamic militants crossing the border that has been disputed ever since Sir Mortimer Durand helped draw it up in 1893, when Britain ruled much of South Asia.

He said recent incidents of terrorism in Pakistan have been traced back to anti-Pakistan elements in Afghanistan.


Pakistani soldiers check the identity of citizens returning from Afghanistan at the border town of Chaman, Pakistan, March 7, 2017.

Pakistani security sources said several Pakistani Taliban commanders were killed in a USA drone strike last week inside Afghanistan, though neither country has confirmed the attack.

Britain hosted Pakistan Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz and Afghan National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar on Thursday to defuse tensions between the two uneasy neighbours.

On the call of all Torkham custom clearance agents of Torkham, a large number of custom agents, traders, transporters and political party leaders gathered at Landiktoal bazaar and hold protest demonstration demanding the immediate reopening of Torkham border.


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