Pakistan agrees to reopen Friendship Gate on Thursday
KANDAHAR (Pajhwok): Pakistani officials on Wednesday promised to reopen the Friendship Gate at the Spin Boldak-Chaman border crossing on Thursday morning (Sept 1), an Afghan border police official in the southern province of Kandahar said.
Afghan Border Police 3rd brigade official Col. Mohammad Ali Dawari told Pajhwok Afghan News that Afghan and Pakistani border officials in held their latest flag meeting on Wednesday and during the talks they agreed to reopen the border crossing.
He said the Pakistan side agreed to the border’s reopening after many efforts and meetings between the two sides.
Afghan officials had previously said they did not agree to some Pakistani conditions for reopening the border. One of the conditions was to open the Friendship Gate during a special ceremony daily.
The only transit route in southern region was closed by Pakistani authorities on August 18 after the alleged burning of the Pakistani flag by some protestors from Kandahar.
Kandahar traders, transporters and common people daily cross the border into Pakistan for treatment, trade and other needs, but they also complain about problems they face in the neighbouring country.
Afghan traders have claimed they incurred millions of losses due to the border closure.
The Kandahar governor’s spokesman, Samim Khpalwak, put the per day losses Afghan traders suffered during the period at 12 million afghanis.
Col. Dawari said the Pakistan flag burning incident followed an anti-India protest at the Pakistani side of the border on Afghanistan’s Independence Day.
The Pakistani protesters chanted slogans against India, Afghanistan and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also set alight Modi’s and President Ashraf Ghani’s pictures at the zero point area between the countries.
The Pakistanis protested at the zero point where no diplomat mission or consulate of India existed, said Col. Dawari.
He questioned if the protest was against India, why it was not carried out in Islamabad in front of the Indian Embassy.
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