PM orders arrangements for Torkham border to remain open 'round the clock'

Published: January 28, 2019

Prime Minister Imran Khan says he has tasked officials to make arrangements such that the Torkham border crossing of the Pak-Afghan border can remain open 24 hours a day, within a span of six months.

“This step will be instrumental in boosting bilateral trade & enhancing people to people contacts between the two brotherly countries,” he tweeted on Monday.

The statement came hours after an announcement by Khyber-Pakhtukhwa Finance Minister Taimur Jhagra that in a meeting the federal and provincial governments had decided to expedite the reopening of the Torkham border crossing.

The meeting, chaired by Adviser to the PM on Establishment Shehzad Arbab held at the PM Office in Islamabad, was informed that currently, Torkham border remained open for seven to 10 hours a day.

Possible consequences of opening the border for 24 hours, including security concerns, were discussed in detail during the meeting.

Indefinite and abrupt border closures, among other reasons, led to a decrease in trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan in recent years.

Pakistan closed the Torkham border crossing after the February 2017 suicide attack in Sehwan, which was followed by a string of attacks in the country.

Earlier in 2016, Pakistan had shut the Torkham crossing after deadly clashes in the area.

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