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Bridging The Gap
PM Nawaz orders Pak-Afghan border to be reopened immediately
  Monday 20 March, 2017
PM Nawaz orders Pak-Afghan border to be reopened immediately

ISLAMABAD:
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered on Monday the immediate reopening of the Pak-Afghan border crossings.

According to Express News, the premier ordered authorities to reopen the border as a gesture of goodwill.

Meanwhile, according to a statement issued by the Prime Minister House, PM expressed hope that “the Afghanistan government will take necessary action to eliminate the reasons for which this step
[border closure] was taken.”

The border was closed last month after a series of attacks, claimed by the Taliban, killed at least 100 people in the country. Islamabad said armed groups operating from Afghan soil had carried out the attacks.

Afghan authorities, including Afghan ambassador to Pakistan Dr Omar Zakhilwal had urged Pakistan to reopen the border as the closure was causing “a humanitarian crisis.”

Torkham and Chaman were briefly opened on March 7-8 by Pakistan to allow citizens who had valid travel documents to return home.

The two nations are divided by the Durand Line, a 2,400-kilometre (1,500-mile) frontier drawn by the British in 1896 and disputed by Kabul, which does not officially recognise it as an international border.

Following the directions, Zakhilwal said Pakistan had opened the border unconditionally in accordance with the agreement reached in the last week’s high-level talks in London.

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.

“We had pursued implementation process of the agreement on the opening of the border and other important issues over the past three days,” he said on his official Facebook. He did not offer any comment on other issues.

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