Islamabad: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday ordered to reopen the Pakistan-Afghanistan border with immediate effect. The Prime Minister said that the decision was taken as a goodwill gesture as the countries enjoy “religious, cultural and historical ties”, reported Dawn newspaper.
Pakistan sealed the Torkham border crossing with Afghanistan for an indefinite period in the aftermath of a bombing at the Lal Shehbaz Qalandar shrine in Sindh province last month. At least 72 persons were killed in the blast. The border crossing was sealed for all kinds of trade and commercial activities due to security concerns. However, earlier in March, Pakistan temporarily opened the border crossings at Torkham and Chaman to allow stranded Afghan nationals to return to their country.
The border crossings remained open 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 press release by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had stated. The newly-built Pakistan Gate on the Torkham border was opened in August 2016, albeit without a formal ceremony. Clashes between PakisÂtani and Afghan security forces over the construction of the border gate last year left four soldiers dead on both sides, said the report.