PM orders immediate re-opening of Pak-Afghan border

March 20, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has ordered immediate re-opening of crossing points at Pakistan-Afghan border at Torkham and Chaman.

In a statement, here Monday, the Prime Minister said recent incidents of terrorism in Pakistan have been traced back to anti-Pakistan elements in Afghanistan. However, the decision to re-open the border is being taken as closure of the border for a long time in the backdrop of religious, culture and historical ties between the two countries would not be in the interest of the people and the economy.

He said the decision to re-open the border is being taken as a goodwill gesture. The Prime Minister hoped that the Afghan Government would take measures to address the reasons for which the borders were closed.

The Prime Minister said they have reiterated time and again that durable peace in Afghanistan is imperative for peace and security in Pakistan. Pakistan would continue to collaborate with Afghanistan to eliminate the menace of terrorism from the two countries.

The government had decided to seal all border crossings with Afghanistan for an indefinite period in the aftermath of the deadly suicide bombing at the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar last month.

The Pak-Afghan border crossing at Torkham and Chaman had been sealed immediately after the attack for all kinds of communication, with the government citing ‘security concerns’.

However, the border crossings were opened on March 7 and 8, “in order to provide an opportunity to those nationals of Afghanistan who had come to Pakistan on valid visas and wish to return to their country”.