Afghanistan and Pakistan agree to reopen Torkham border gate

ZakhilwalRAWALPINDI: The Afghan and Pakistani officials on Friday agreed to reopen the Torkham border following four days of closure that resulted to stranding of hundreds of vehicles as well as thousands of people.

The agreement was reached during a meeting between the Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal and Pakistani Army Chief of Staff General Raheel Sharif on Friday.

A spokesman for the Pakistan’s Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) General Asim Bajwa said the two sides agreed to resume routine border traffic at the Torkham border.

Bajwa further added that the two sides also agreed to continue efforts to fight terrorism and bring lasting peace in the region.

The meeting between Zakhilwal and Gen. Sharif followed shortly after tensions escalated between the two nations as additional forces were deployed in the area on Friday.

According to the sources in Pakistan, army troops and additional Khasadar Force and Frontier Corps personnel were deployed in Torkham on Thursday, accusing Afghanistan for reinforcing its troops and border security forces along the border.

The two sides reportedly deployed armored personnel carrier and tanks amid heightening tensions.

The closure of Torkham followed days after the Afghan and Pakistani border forces have already engaged in a number of clashes along the Durand Line, mainly due to military installations establishment, violating the zero point between the two countries.

The Afghan and Pakistani border forces exchanged fire in Goshta district of Nangarhar province late last month with the local officials saying the Pakistani forces started shelling the Afghan border posts. -KP

THE PASHTUN TIMES

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