No real deal ....
and strengthening relations between the two countries.
Afghanistan and Pakistan last week traded deadly heavy gunfire and artillery at the Torkham border crossing after Pakistan started building a gate on its side to check for unwanted and illegal movement of Afghans. A statement from the Afghan foreign ministry said the talks were held in an “amicable and friendly atmosphere” but said Karzai had raised what it called “various violations” by Pakistan, including setting up checkpoints in Afghan territory.
He said that both countries should reach a consensus over border mechanisms. He said that Afghanistan should also be consulted before formulating any such mechanisms.
Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry told Afghan delegation that management of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border was necessary and it would bring benefit to both countries.
Aizaz Chaudhry also said that border gates should not be established only at the Torkham border but at other crossing points as well. He said that a proper border management mechanism will also aid in curbing smuggling across the border.
“There was no final agreement but we have informed them (Afghanistan) of our position,” the official said.
“These gates are important for the safety and security of both Pakistan and Afghanistan.”
Afghan Deputy Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai also paid a courtesy call on Sartaj Aziz.
Pakistan has started introducing a new border mechanism at the Torkham border from June 1. Under the new border controls, Pakistan has made it clear that no one would be allowed to cross the border without a valid passport and a visa.
Official sources say Pakistan will stick to its position with regard to the new border rules.
Earlier this month, the Torkham border was closed due to the clash which claimed four lives on both sides had started because of a dispute over the construction of the border gate.
It also left tens of thousands of passengers stranded on both sides of the border in addition to hundreds of trucks carrying cargo that were also held up.
Torkham is one of the busiest of the eight established crossing points on the 2,500kilometre-long porous border between the two countries, which is used by some 25,000 travelers every day.
A diplomatic push to end the Pak-Afghan row over the construction of the border gate bore fruit on Saturday when Pakistan reopened the Torkham border crossing for traffic a week after skirmishes forced the closure.