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Torkham issue: Deputy FM visits Pakistan

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Deputy foreign minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai is to visit Islamabad today (Monday), for talks to remove differences over the Torkham border crossing issues with Pakistani officials. He would visit Pakistan based on an official invitation.

After tensions escalated between Afghan border guards and Pakistani paramilitary forces at Torkham crossing, advisor to the Pakistan prime minister on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz invited Afghan National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar and Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani to pay a visit to Pakistan to talk over the issue.

However, the Afghan government decided to send a delegation, led by Hekmat Karzai to Pakistan to discuss Torkham related issue.

In a media statement, Pakistan Foreign Office welcomed the visit, saying Pakistan looked forward to meaningful deliberations through a constructive engagement between the two sides with a view to promoting bilateral relations as well as peace and stability of two countries and the region.

It is worth mentioning that Afghanistan and Pakistan have nearly 2600 kilometers border, mostly porous, and the militants take advantage of the loose control.

Clash between Afghan border police and Pakistan paramilitary kicked off on Saturday night. After short time ceasefire, firings resumed on Monday lasted for three hours, which as result one border police and two children were killed and 12 others border police were wounded.

One senior Pakistan officer was killed in the clash, while dozens of other were received injuries.

Clash began while Pakistani forces struggled to build fence in the Afghan soil. As tension raised at crossing point, foreign minister summoned Pakistan ambassador in Kabul for explain the reason of the skirmishes.

Both sides have now declared ceasefire and the crossing was reopened on Saturday after its six days closure.


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