Pak, Afghan ....

Pakistan Observer - - IN­TER­NA­TIONAL -

border.

Of­fi­cials on both sides said the cross­ing had re­opened af­ter Kabul and Is­lam­abad reached an agree­ment.

“To re­open the pass there were cen­tral and re­gional level ne­go­ti­a­tions,” At­taullah Kh­ogyani, a spokesman for Afghanistan´s Nan­garhar pro­vin­cial gover­nor, said on Satur­day. Mil­i­tary re­in­force­ments that had been sent to the area had been or­dered to leave and cross­bor­der traf­fic had re­turned to nor­mal af­ter hav­ing been stalled for a week.

Thou­sands of ve­hi­cles nor­mally pass through the cross­ing ev­ery week, mak­ing it a vi­tal trade link be­tween the coun­tries. As part of the agree­ment, of­fi­cials said all Afghans would need of­fi­cial doc­u­ments to pass into Pak­istan.

Pak­istan se­cu­rity forces have greeted the con­sen­sus over the is­sue by for­ward­ing pleas­antries in­clud­ing dates and man­goes to Afghan troops.

Army had started build­ing a gate some 37 me­tres within Pak­istan’s ter­ri­tory to main­tain a check on the trav­el­ers and end move­ment of banned out­fits’ op­er­a­tives in Pak­istan through Torkham. Afghanistan claimed that the con­struc­tion was against some un­der­stand­ings be­tween the two sides.

How­ever, third round of flag meet­ing last night was suc­cess­ful af­ter which the border was opened at 8:12 am Satur­day.

Pak­istan’s for­eign min­istry spokesman posted a mes­sage on Twit­ter say­ing: “Only pass­port hold­ers al­lowed from Afghan side.”

The new re­quire­ment will af­fect thou­sands of peo­ple who formerly crossed the busy border post with­out travel doc­u­ments.

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