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Kabul, Islamabad agree to reopen Torkham gate

AT-KABUL: Afghan and Pakistani officials agreed to reopen the Torkham border gat as it was remained closed for the fourth days that resulted into stranding of hundreds of people.

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

He furthered that the two sides also agreed to continue efforts to fight terrorism and bring lasting peace in the region.

Earlier, Afghan ambassador to Islamabad had said that he had talks with Pakistani officials on the reopen of the gate.

“I had a meeting with the Pakistani army chief, Raheel Shairf, where he ordered Pakistani troops to reopen the border gate for the travelers and merchandise,” Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan, Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal said.

“Last night, 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 states. And without any condition, the gate should be reopened,” Zakhilwal said.

He called on Afghan people not to pressurize the government, because such pressures would force the government to accept all demands from Islamabad aimed at reopening the Torkham gate.

Zakhilwal also talked about medical treatment in Pakistan, saying that propagandas against Afghan physicians have led into flooding of Afghan patients to Pakistan for treatment.

“Pakistan made market here for the Afghan patients in a bid to take their money,” he said.

“Some treatments are possible in Afghanistan which are impossible in Pakistan and I am sure those Afghans come here for treatment can be treated inside Afghanistan.”

“Qazi Mohammad Amin Waqad, a member of the High Peace Council, came to Pakistan for cardiac surgery but Pakistani doctors were unable to operate. He went under a cardiac surgery in Kabul and that treatment was possible inside Afghanistan.”

The gate was reportedly closed by the Pakistani forces on Tuesday when Afghan border guard forces prevented Pakistani security forces from installing barbed wire along the border.

According to some sources, additional troops and military equipment have been deployed along the two sides of Torkham as tensions have been intensified between the Kabul and Islamabad over fencing attempt by Pakistani border guards.

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