Pakistani PM orders reopening of Afghanistan border
 Source : News Bharati English  Date : 20-Mar-2017


Islamabad, March 20 : Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has ordered the re-opening of the two main border crossings to Afghanistan after their closure last month following a series of attacks that Islamabad.

Pakistan had last month shut the crossing at Torkham, on the road from the northwest city Peshawar to the Afghan city of Jalalabad, and at Chaman, on the road between the southwestern city of Quetta and Kandahar in Afghanistan.

The government had acted after more than 130 people were killed in a spate of attacks by Pakistani militants that Islamabad says have taken shelter in Afghanistan.

"Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has issued orders to immediately open the Pakistan-Afghanistan border," Sharif's office said in a statement.Sharif said this was being done despite recent militant attacks in Pakistan being traced back to militants using Afghan sanctuaries.

"We hope that the Afghanistan government will take all necessary actions to eliminate the reasons for which this step (border closure) was taken."

Pakistani security sources said that several Pakistani Taliban commanders were killed in a U.S. drone strike last week inside Afghanistan, though neither country has confirmed the attack.

Relations between the two countries have been tense in recent months, with both accusing each other of not doing enough to tackle militants. Afghanistan has long accused Pakistan of turning a blind eye to Afghan Taliban commanders on its soil and even of supporting the militant group, something Islamabad denies.

Last year, Pakistan started building a barrier at Torkham, angering Afghanistan which rejects the colonial-era Durand Line border drawn up in 1893 and does not want a solid recognition of the boundary.