Free Press Journal

Afghanistan urges Pak to reopen border, de-escalate tensions


Islamabad: Afghanistan has requested Pakistan to reopen the border to alleviate the suffering of people stranded due to its closure and de-escalate tensions between the two countries, the Foreign Office said today. Pakistan had closed the border crossings last month after a fresh wave of deadly suicide attacks killed over 125 people. Officials had claimed that some of the suicide bombers had come from Afghanistan.

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Foreign Office said in a statement that Pakistan’s Ambassador Abrar Hussain was invited through Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a meeting with General Murad Ali Murad, Deputy Chief of Staff at Afghan Ministry of Defence, on February 27 along with Defence Attache Brigadier Farooq Zaman. “During the meeting, General Murad requested for de-escalation at the border and re-opening of the crossing points between the two countries,” the statement said.

Highlighting the sufferings of people due to closure of the border and cross-border shelling from Pakistan, Gen Murad sought the country’s help to reduce tensions. “He also promised to take action against terrorists on the basis of shared information,” the statement added. Ambassador Hussain, in his response, briefed Gen Murad on the circumstances behind actions taken by Pakistan. He said Afghan nationals were involved in recent attacks in his country and stressed that Afghanistan should take appropriate measures for denying use of its soil by terrorists against Pakistan.

He informed that the border was closed to prevent crossing by terrorists. He stressed on the need for efforts by both countries to strengthen border management. The Ambassador, however, promised to transmit the Afghanistan’s requests to Islamabad. Relations between the two countries are tense due to closing of border and Afghanistan refused to send high-level delegation to a regional ECO summit hosted by Pakistan.