The activities at the Pak-Afghan border resumed today after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday ordered immediate re-opening of the crossing as a ‘goodwill gesture’.
The crossings — Torkham at the famed Khyber Pass, and Chaman in Balochistan province — were closed last month after a wave of militant violence killed 130 people across Pakistan and claimed by the terrorists based in Afghanistan.
The prime minister ordered border reopening as it was hurting the common men and affecting the trade activities. According to the statement issued by the PM House, the premier hoped that the reasons for its closure would be addressed by the government of Afghanistan.
“Despite the fact that those involved in terrorist activities in Pakistan have a connection with anti-Pakistani elements in Afghanistan, the closure of the border between the two countries, having centuries old religious, cultural and historic relations, was against the economic and public interests,” it said.
The statement said “it has been decided to re-open the border as a good-will gesture with immediate effect, with the hope that the Government of Afghanistan would take the necessary steps, required to address the reasons, that led to closure of the border.”
Torkham and Chaman were briefly opened on March 7-8 by Pakistan to allow citizens who had valid travel documents to return home.
Last week, the senior officials of two countries held a meeting in London to discuss steps and measures to improve the current tense bilateral relations. Later, the Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan said the meeting concluded positively.
‘Discussions were substantive, constructive, forward-looking and resultful. The success of this important meeting certainly will be judged by the common people of our two respective countries as to how this, in practical terms, responds to their aspiration for good neighbourly relations, peace and their well being,’ he added.