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Pak-Afghan delegations meet to discuss border tensions

Talks

ISLAMABAD: In the first high-level talks following tension at Torkham crossing along the Pak-Afghan border mounted last week, Afghanistan and Pakistan delegations met on Monday.

According to a Foreign Office statement released on Monday, the Afghan delegation was being led by Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai while Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry represented Pakistan’s side during the meeting.

“The delegation-level talks between Pakistan and Afghanistan have been concluded. Both the sides agree to device a mechanism for improving border management during the meeting which went in a cordial atmosphere,” Foreign Office statement.

The meeting was aimed at reducing political and border tensions between the two neighbouring countries, where the two countries exchanged their viewpoints over Torkham and other border management issues.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz had extended an invitation to the Afghan foreign minister and national security adviser earlier.

During the important meet, both Pakistan and Afghanistan delegations have expressed their willingness to strengthen cooperation at Torkham.


Must Read: Torkham border crossing reopens


They also reviewed varying aspects of border problems in a bid to come up with a foolproof mechanism for enhanced border management.

Pakistan recently reopened the porous Torkham border crossing with Afghanistan that was closed earlier this week after deadly clashes between the two sides over Pakistan’s construction of a gate on its side to curb illegal cross-border movement.

However, all those people carrying valid travel documents were now being allowed to cross Torkham border.

Thousands of people were left stranded on both sides due to the Torkham border closure on Sunday when Pakistan and Afghanistan began trading fire as a result of which one Pakistani army officer and at least two Afghan border guards were killed.

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