Nawaz Sharif orders immediate reopening of border with Afghanistan

Nawaz Sharif orders immediate reopening of border with Afghanistan

Nawaz Sharif orders immediate reopening of border with Afghanistan

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered on Monday the immediate reopening of the Pak-Afghan border crossings.

Custom clearance agents, Traders and transporters hold a protest demonstration in Landikotal on Saturday against the closure of Pak-Afghan border and demanded the both countries to settle the issues through negotiation.

The Prime Minister said that the decision was taken as a goodwill gesture as the countries enjoy "religious, cultural and historical ties", reported Dawn newspaper.

On Feb. 17, Pakistan unilaterally closed its border with Afghanistan, commonly known as the Durand Line, "due to security reasons" following a spate of terror attacks, including a suicide bombing at a Sufi shrine in southern Pakistani town of Sehwan that left 90 people dead.

While Pakistan has cracked down on some militants in recent years, the Taliban and Haqqani Network still use bases in Pakistan to launch attacks in Afghanistan, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation commander in Afghanistan told the U.S. Senate last month.

Ziaul Haq Sarhadi, of a joint Pakistan-Afghan chamber of commerce, urged Sharif's government to move quickly to notify the border administration, which he said was still waiting for instructions to open the border.

Pakistan had temporarily reopened the border crossings for two days in early March to allow visitors with valid visas on both sides to return home.

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said on Sunday Pakistan was pursuing a policy of peaceful neighborhood and desired peaceful solution to all outstanding issues with its neighbours.

Chaudhary hoped that the recent meeting between Pakistan's Foreign Affairs Adviser and Afghan National Security Adviser in London would lead to closer coordination between the governments of two countries. Pakistan's Zakaria told reporters in Islamabad on Thursday while he can't give a date for reopening of the border, the measure is "temporary".

"We hope that trade and business will flourish without any further interruptions", he added.

Afghan side had expressed anger and frustration at the closure of the border, sources said.

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