Af-Pak tension de-escalates as major border crossing reopened
JALALABAD/PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): A key border crossing between Afghanistan and Pakistan was reopened on Friday as a result of fruitful negotiations on resolving a dispute over the construction of a fence near the Durand Line.
The agreement on reopening the Torkham border crossing in the evening came at a meeting between Afghan Ambassador Dr. Omar Zakhilwal and Chief of Army Staff Gen. Raheel Sharif in the garrison city of Rawalpindi. The border was closed on Tuesday.
Zakhilwal and Gen. Raheel Sharif agreed to resolve the issue and resume the routine cross-border traffic, military spokesman Lt Gen Asim Bajwa told Pajhwok Afghan News following the result-oriented meeting.
Tensions mounted between as the neighbours deployed tanks and armoured personnel carriers along the border, sending more troops after their negotiating teams failed to resolve the fencing spate. Thousands of people and vehicles remained stranded
The two sides reiterated their commitment to combating terrorism and bringing lasting peace to the region, according to the military spokesman, who said bilateral relations, particularly the border management question, was discussed in detail during the meeting.
As Pakistan the controversial fencing exercise to plug a number of illegal and secret border crossings, Afghanistan reacted in a knee-jerk manner and lodged a formal protest with Islamabad.
Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman for the Nangarhar governor, confirmed the resolution of the border spate through diplomatic channels. He told Pajhwok Pakistan had set no condition for deescalating the tension and reopening the frontier.
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