Kabul will airlift its stranded people if Pak does not reopen border: Afghan envoy

New Delhi [India], Mar. 5 : Afghan Ambassador to Islamabad Omar Zakhilwal has said that if Pakistan does not re-open the Pak-Afghan border, his country would arrange special flights to airlift its stranded citizens.

On February 16, Pakistan closed the border after 88 people were killed in a suicide bombing at the Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine of in Sehwan, Sindh.

Zakhilwal said Pakistan has failed to provide a 'convincing justification' for closing the border. "Argument that the closure of these crossing points was needed to stop terrorists' crossing cannot carry any weigh as these points such as Torkham and Spin Boldak have been manned by hundreds of military and other security personal and have all the checking infrastructure and equipments in place," Zakhilwal said in his Facebook post on Saturday.

The envoy further said that such "continuous unreasonable" closure of legal Pak-Afghan trade and transit routes cannot have any other explanation except to be aimed at hurting the Afghan people.

" However, what actually gets hurt more is bilateral trade, with Pakistan losing more - Peshawar (and) Quetta in particular as Pakistan's declining export share in Afghanistan is indicative of that," Zakhilwal said.

Zakhilwal said he met Advisor to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz and conveyed to him that Afghan government would provide charter flights to lift its stranded citizens if an opening was not allowed in the next couple of days.

The government sealed the Torkham border crossing for an indefinite period and closed all kinds of communication citing 'security concerns'.

Source: ANI