Pak-Afghan border closed for two days

Border will remain closed on Friday and Saturday.

News Desk October 19, 2018
A Pakistani soldier keeps guard at the Friendship Gate, crossing point at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border town of Chaman, Pakistan, March 7, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

The government on Friday decided to close the border crossings of Chaman and Torkham for two days. The border will remain closed on Friday and Saturday.

The closure comes at the request of the Afghan government, said Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr. Mohammad Faisal.

The FO spokesperson added that the decision was taken to support Afghanistan in the smooth conduct of upcoming parliamentary elections

The border crossings will remain closed for all kinds of traffic with the exception of emergency cases, added FO.

On Thursday, General Abdul Raziq, one of Afghanistan’s most powerful security officials, was killed when a bodyguard opened fire following a meeting in the governor’s compound in Kandahar.

General Scott Miller, the top US commander in Afghanistan who had been at the meeting with Raziq only moments earlier, was uninjured in the attack, but the local commander of the NDS intelligence service and the Kandahar provincial governor Zalmay Wesa were also killed.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they had targeted both Miller and Raziq, who had a fearsome reputation as a ruthless opponent of the insurgents.

Afghanistan is on high alert ahead of the long-delayed legislative elections, scheduled for October 20, after the Taliban pledged to attack the ballot.

More than 2,500 candidates are competing for 249 seats in the lower house, including doctors, mullahs, and the sons of former warlords.

The election process has already been marred by bloody violence, with hundreds killed or wounded in recent months.

At least 10 candidates have been killed so far, including Abdul Jabar Qahraman who was blown up Wednesday by a bomb placed under his sofa in the southern province of Helmand.

The election is seen as a rehearsal for the presidential vote scheduled for April and an important milestone ahead of a UN meeting in Geneva in November where Afghanistan is under pressure to show progress on “democratic processes”.



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