Afghan general wants border crossings with Pakistan reopened

Published: March 1, 2017
A file photo of Pak-Afghan border. PHOTO: AFP

A file photo of Pak-Afghan border. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: A senior Afghan army general, in a meeting with Pakistan’s ambassador in Kabul, has asked Islamabad to reopen all border crossings between the two countries.

The foreign ministry in Islamabad confirmed that “the Ambassador of Pakistan Syed Abrar Hussain was invited through Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a meeting with General Murad Ali Murad, Deputy Chief of Staff at the Ministry of Defence on February 27, 2017.”

Pakistan Army had summoned Afghan embassy officials to the GHQ last month and handed over a list of over 70 militants who allegedly operate from the Afghan side of the border. The list was handed over after the banned Jamaatul Ahrar, a breakaway faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, claimed responsibility for deadly attacks across the country, which killed over 100 people.

Kabul also delivered a similar list to the Pakistani military and foreign affairs adviser.

Pakistan had closed the border with Afghanistan minutes after the suicide attack on Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in Sindh’s Sehwan town on February 17.

Afghan envoy urges PM Nawaz to reopen Pak-Afghan border

“During the meeting, General Murad requested for de-escalation at the border and re-opening of the crossing points between the two countries,” the statement said.

“Highlighting the sufferings of people due to closure of the border and cross-border shelling from Pakistan, he sought reduction in tensions,” the FO statement said, adding that the Afghan general also “promised to take action against terrorists on the basis of shared information.”

Following the attacks, Pakistan Army also destroyed nearly a dozen training camps and hideouts of Afghan-based terrorist groups.

Accompanied by Defence Attaché Brig Farooq Zaman, Ambassador Hussain, in his response, briefed on the circumstances behind actions taken by Pakistan.

Artillery moved to Pak-Afghan border

“He stated that Afghan nationals were involved in recent attacks in Pakistan and stressed that Afghanistan should take appropriate measures for denying use of its soil by terrorists against Pakistan.”

The ambassador also informed that the border was closed to prevent crossing by terrorists.

He stressed the need for efforts by both the countries to strengthen border management, and promised to convey the Afghan request to Islamabad.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan ambassador in Islamabad DrOmar Zakhilwal also urged Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to reopen the border with Afghanistan.

“It will be the right message if Your Excellency instructs an immediate opening of our formal trade and transit routes between our two brotherly countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan. They have now been closed for about two weeks, without adequate reasons, causing enormous hardship to ordinary people and a lot of damage to traders on both sides,” Zakhilwal said during the ECO Summit in Islamabad on Wednesday.

“Many of our challenges are shared and require collective actions. To unlock our individual potential, we need to reshape our policies that promote peace, stability and trust as core objectives. In addition, they should be aimed at removing existing barriers to trade, transit and greater connectivity and develop our capacities and physical infrastructure,” the Afghan ambassador said in his written speech.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Saeed Masood
    Mar 1, 2017 - 11:50PM

    Teach them a lesson once for all so that they know what it means to meddle in Pakistan’s affairs on India’s orders, let them pay a good price.Recommend

  • Grace
    Mar 2, 2017 - 12:28AM

    The border should stay closed and all movement to and from Afghanistan should take place via Iran. Everyone knows India uses Afghanistan as a base to harm Pakistanis.Recommend

  • Hamood
    Mar 2, 2017 - 1:19AM

    For the sake of innocent Pakistani lives, please keep the border shut for at least 10 years to infinity until the Afghans get their house in order. No more innocent blood for the sake of so-called trade. This so-called border is a front for Afghans to exploit Pakistani resources and cause destruction. Recommend

  • Nadeem
    Mar 2, 2017 - 2:33AM

    Kindly do not open the borders Pakistanies do not want to keep any relationship with untrustworthy Afghanistan send all Afghans living in Pakistan as soon as possible without any further delay Recommend

  • Salman Ali
    Mar 2, 2017 - 7:24AM

    This is inhumane! Suspending cross border trade with Afghaniztan will make the life of everyday Afghanis difficult. It will do nothing to stop the terrorists. Also as per international laws, it is illegal to deny port access to a land-locked Country.Recommend

  • Ismail Khan
    Mar 2, 2017 - 8:07AM

    Keep this border shut for 6 months and then put your demands see how they come on their knees it will be like total chaos in Afghanistan they wont have even match box to lit fire without us dont loose this oppurtunity.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Mar 2, 2017 - 8:22AM

    There is no need to open the border. You pay for your sins now. And deport these afghanis too. Now want then here. They should have left anyway if they had any shame left.Recommend

  • Oki
    Mar 2, 2017 - 9:04AM

    Let yhe afghans open their borders woth india.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Mar 2, 2017 - 9:27AM

    Afghans are as thankless as one can get- they still have 3 millions of their countrymen eating in Pakistani plates yet they dance on Indian tunes. Pakistan should keep the borders closed and let them rotRecommend

  • kemosabe
    Mar 2, 2017 - 9:30AM

    @Saeed Masood:
    Right, but Afghan general is always welcome to pay his respects to Pakistan via Wagah border.Recommend

  • Usman Khalid
    Mar 2, 2017 - 12:25PM

    @Salman Ali: Pakistan is not the only neighboring country with port, Iran is there too. I always wonder how much trade do Afghanistan have through Iranian port(s).Recommend

  • Sane Khan
    Mar 3, 2017 - 7:22AM

    We have no qualms with Afghans, they are our brothers .
    Our common enemy is terrorism and we both have to work against it.

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