Afghanistan wants reopening of border with Pakistan

Islamabad, Feb 23 (IANS) Afghan Ambassador Omar Zakhilwal on Thursday called for reopening of the border that Pakistan closed a week ago due to a series of terrorist attacks that killed over 100 people in Pakistan.

Pakistan said that it closed the border over “security concerns” as those who claimed last week attacks were “from the Afghan side of the border”. However, Afghanistan denies the statements.

“As part of the quick de-escalation of the prevailing tension between Afghanistan and Pakistan, as agreed in our talks with the relevant Pakistan authorities a couple of days ago, Torkharm, Spin Boldak and other crossing points should have reopened by now, but unfortunately still remain shut,” Zakhilwal said in a statement.

“In fact, formal trade and transit crossing points between our two countries, under no circumstances, should have been closed in the first place, both as per Afghanistan-Pakistan Trade and Transit Agreement and also Afghanistan’s land-locked country transit right as per international rules,” the Afghan envoy said in the statement which was posted on social media.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesman Nafees Zakaria has said that a decision regarding opening of Pakistan-Afghan border will be taken in due course of time.

“Pakistan has continued to maintain and emphasize that effective border management is vital for preventing cross border movement of terrorists. Pakistan is ready to work with Afghanistan on those issues in a spirit of mutual respect, trust and cooperation,” the spokesman said at his weekly briefing.

The spokesman said issues between Pakistan and Afghanistan need to be addressed through constructive and positive engagements.

–IANS

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