Nawaz orders immediate reopening of Pak-Afghan border

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< Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday ordered the reopening of the Pak-Afghan border with immediate effect, DawnNews reported.

The decision was taken as a goodwill gesture as the two countries enjoy religious, cultural and historical relations, the prime minister was quoted as saying.

The prime minister also said he hoped the Afghan government would take measures to eliminate the reasons for which the borders were closed in the first place.

“A durable peace in Afghanistan is essential for peace and stability in the region,” Sharif said.

The premier was of the view that the prolonged closure of the Pak-Afghan border was against the interests of the people and the economies of 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.

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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, earlier in March, Pakistan temporarily opened the border at Torkham and Chaman to allow stranded Afghan nationals to return to their country.

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”, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs press release had stated.

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