Torkham border reopens after five days of clashes

Published: June 18, 2016
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Officials in Islamabad say they have floated proposals to Afghan govt to introduce suitable mechanism.

Officials in Islamabad say they have floated proposals to Afghan govt to introduce suitable mechanism.

Torkham border reopened on Saturday after five days of closure following clashes between Afghan and Pakistan security forces, Express News reported.

Afghan border guards started ‘unprovoked firing’ at roughly 9:00pm on Sunday to disrupt the construction of a gate on the Pakistani side of the border. Cross fire along the border caused casualties on both sides.

Afghanistan declines invite to send its NSA, FM to Pakistan

According to reports, the curfew was lifted after leaders of the two neighbouring countries met earlier to discuss possible solutions for the issue. Both sides opened their gates at the border to resume trade activities.

“To reopen the pass there were central and regional level
negotiations,” Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesperson for Afghanistan’s
Nangarhar provincial governor, said on Saturday.

The flow of traffic resumed to normal soon after the border reopened, following which officials on both sides checked necessary documents of people travelling across the border and also gave immigration visas to them.

Earlier, Kabul had apparently refused to send to Islamabad its national security adviser and foreign minister, invited for discussion in the wake of the recent clashes between the security forces of the two neighbouring countries after Pakistan started building a gate at Torkham border as part of its new border controls.

Nawaz, Karzai call for peaceful resolution of Torkham border issue

Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Thursday spoke to Afghan National Security Adviser (NSA) Hanif Atmar over phone and invited him and Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani for talks on the current situation at Torkham border amid the ongoing tension.

Afghan National Security Council spokesperson Tawab Ghorzang also confirmed the Pakistani invitation but said Afghan government has decided to send instead a delegation under Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai.

Kabul’s move appeared to suggest that the Afghan government is not keen to have meaningful engagement with Pakistan, commented a senior government official while requesting anonymity.

Pakistan, Afghanistan agree on ceasefire at Torkham border

The official, however, made it clear that Pakistan would welcome any Afghan delegation as it had no intention of prolonging the tensions along the Torkham border. “The Afghan government has not yet officially responded to the invitation extended by the PM’s adviser,” he added.

No date has been announced for the visit and both sides are coordinating to decide the date.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • SKChadha
    Jun 18, 2016 - 1:08PM

    After agreements of 22.11.1921, Pakistan has no locus standi to prevent Afghanistan either from importing anything or to export anything to any part of erstwhile British India, without custom duty other than it normally apply?

    If Pakistan refuses treaty to Afghanistan, the Durand Line is non-existent and the entire treaty comes to NIL? It is Pakistan who has to take decision.Recommend

  • Jun 18, 2016 - 1:11PM

    Behind all the increasing hostilities and acrimony in relations is the masterhand of the US. Fifteen years in Afghanistan and yet there is no peace. It is supposed to be a superpower and it has done nothing but create disaster and tensions in the region. SalamsRecommend

  • PashtunPakistani
    Jun 18, 2016 - 2:09PM

    Are we still constructing the gate? It is very important for Pakistan to understand that we should now install this gate and border management system by any means because rolling back anything after the standoff may result in similar incidents in future. If we are committed to our plans the Afghani government would think twice before going into any confrontation with us.
    Secondly the federal and provincial governments should now jointly decide a time frame for sending refugees back to Afghan ASAP.
    And please stop treating Afghanistan as our backyard, tenant or friend. Emphasise more on the development of Pakistan and a comprehensive foreign policy.Recommend

  • Shuaib
    Jun 18, 2016 - 3:45PM

    The media should verify whether we have built a gate or not. It’s a national security issue that needs to be taken seriously. As for engagement with Afghanistan, there’s no love lost from our side.Recommend

  • Salman
    Jun 18, 2016 - 5:16PM

    There is no compromise on the gate and we are building it not just one but many others. Recommend

  • Ahmad Durrani
    Jun 18, 2016 - 6:10PM

    Pakistan MUST fence the entire Afghanistan border and only people with passports and valid visa should be allowed to enter, They accuse of Taliban cross border raids then why do they oppose fencing of the border ? Recommend

  • Truth be told
    Jun 19, 2016 - 7:55AM

    @SKChadha:
    Afghanistan defies the agreement on Durand Line. It should abide by it in letter and spirit and Pakistan has always facilitated transit facilities for Afghanistan.Recommend

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