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Sherpao laments economic loss due to Torkham closure

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Former Pakistani interior minister and leader of Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, has said that the closure of the Torkham had caused the loss of millions of rupees and business in the two states.

The disputed border in the Torkham area was closed by Pakistani army last week. The four-day closure hurt Afghan business and those traveling to Pakistan for medical treatment.

Sherpao called the government-to-government and people-to-people contacts “very important” to normalize relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Sherpao’s statement comes after Afghan and Pakistani officials agreed to reopen the gate.

“The two sides agreed to resume routine border traffic at the Torkham,” a spokesman for the Pakistani Inter-Services Public Relations, General Asim Bajwa said.

“I welcome the reopening of the Torkham after being close for three days, but the government of Pakistan should devise a strategy to avoid such happenings in the future.”

Sherpao called on the Afghan and Pakistan governments to frame suitable policy on border management and also to promote friendly relations.

“Patients who stranded on the both sides of the gate, were faced serious problems,” he said.

“I called on the federal government to take significant steps to overwhelmed mistrust with the Afghan leadership,” he said, adding that no considerable measure was adopted in this regard.

He asked Islamabad to adopt steps to improve coordination and cooperation with Afghanistan in several areas, including terrorism and border management.

Immediately, after the Pakistani security guards closed Torkham gate, Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan, Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal, held meeting with the Pakistani Army Chief, Raheel Sharif, where he instructed Pakistani troops to reopen the gate for travelers and merchandise.

Previously, the ambassador criticized the government of Pakistan for closing the gate.

“I made it very clear to Pakistani officials that the closure of the gate, due to any reason, would harm bilateral ties between the two countries. And without any condition, the gate should be reopened,” Zakhilwal said.

 

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