Afghan, Pakistani teams meet on boarder management
PESHAWAR/KABUL (Pajhwok): Pakistani and Afghan delegations met on Monday in the first senior-level talks on reducing tensions at the Torkham border crossing, officials said.
A six-member Afghan delegation, led by Deputy Foreign Minister Hikmat Khalil Karzai, was accorded a warm welcome upon its arrival in Islamabad for the meeting.
Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said the Pakistani side was being led by Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry."Talks have started in a cordial atmosphere," the spokesman added.
All aspects of border issuewould be discussed at the meeting, which would hopefully evolve a mechanism for better border management, the official said.
"Pakistanlooks forward to meaningful deliberations through a constructive engagement between the two sides, with a view to promoting bilateral relations as well as peace," the foreign ministry said.
The most frequented Torkham border crossing was closed last week due to clashesthat claimed four lives on both sides. The fire exchange was sparked off by a dispute over the construction of a border gate.
As a result, thousands of passengers and hundreds of cargo-laden trucks were left stranded on both sides of the tense frontier.
Hours before the Afghan team landed in Islamabad, a Taliban suicide attack killed 14 Nepalese security contractors and injured nine others, including Afghan policemen.
Aizaz Chaudhry expressed his deep shock at the act of terrorism and offered his sympathies to relatives of the victims.
Kabul decided on sending the delegation to Islamabad in response to an offer of dialogue from Pakistan’s Foreign Policy Advisor Sartaj Aziz.
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