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Torkham border fully reopened for trade, transit


Kabul: Pakistan reopened a key border crossing with neighboring Afghanistan to all types of traffic on Saturday.

The Torkham border, which connects Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province to neighboring Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province, was shut down unilaterally by the Afghan interim administration last week.

Later the Afghan administration announced to reopen it on Thursday. However, Pakistani authorities refused to reopen the border, a local official at the border told Anadolu new agency.

“Last evening, we temporarily opened the border for Pakistanis who were stuck on the Afghan side,” the official said.

“Finally, we fully reopened the border for trade, transit, and pedestrian movement from both sides this morning,” he added.

Last Sunday, Kabul unilaterally shut down the border crossing. The closure followed an exchange of fire between the two border forces on Monday.

The latest development came three days after Pakistan’s Defense Minister Khawaja Asif met with Afghanistan’s acting Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and acting Defense Minister Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob in Kabul on Wednesday.

Pakistan and Afghanistan share 18 crossing points, with the busiest ones being the Torkham and Chaman, which connects Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province with Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar province.

Last December, at least six Pakistani civilians were killed in an exchange of heavy fire along the Chaman border.

Apart from trade activities, thousands of people, daily cross into the two bordering areas for medical and labor purposes.

The two neighbors share a porous border of almost 2,670 kilometers (1,640 miles).

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