Afghan envoy meets Raheel Sharif to de-escalate border tension

Islamabad, May 13 (IANS) Kabul envoy to Islamabad Omer Zakhilwal met Pakistan Army Chief Gen. Raheel Sharif on Friday and agreed to resolve the border issue and resume the routine cross-border traffic, a military spokesman said.

Tensions heightened between Pakistan and Afghanistan as the two countries deployed tanks and armoured personnel carriers along the tense Torkham border, besides sending more troops after their negotiating teams failed to resolve the border fencing dispute.

But the situation did not last long as during Friday’s meeting both sides agreed to resume routine cross border traffic on the Torkham and reiterated their commitment to to fight terror and bring lasting peace in the region.

The Inter-Services Public Relations spokesperson said that bilateral relations, particularly the border management issue was discussed in detail during the meeting of Afghan envoy with army chief.

Pakistan started fencing some vulnerable points of the border with Afghanistan to plug illegal and secret border crossings and movements of people.

Afghanistan has objected to the border fencing and officially protested to Pakistan over the issue. Because of the tense situation, the border remained closed for last three days.

Negotiating teams of the two countries briefly met at the Pakistan side of the border on Thursday but could not resolve the issue leaving scores of travellers and traders stranded on both sides of the border for a couple of days.

–IANS

ahm/dg

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