Pakistan to open Torkham, Chaman border crossings on March 7 and 8

Islamabad [Pakistan], Mar. 6 : Pakistan said it has decided to open border crossings with Afghanistan at Torkham and Chaman on March 7 and 8 to allow people, visiting the two counties on valid visas, to return.

A statement issued by Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said, "In order to provide an opportunity to those nationals of Afghanistan, who had come to Pakistan on valid visas, and wish to return to their country, the Government of Pakistan has decided to open the border crossings at Torkham and Chaman on March 7 and 8, 2017." "The crossing points will also be opened on these two days for those nationals of Pakistan who had gone to Afghanistan on valid visas and wish to return to Pakistan.

The decision has been conveyed by Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Mr. Sartaj Aziz to the Afghan Ambassador by telephone. All concerned at the two crossing points have also been informed," it added. The development follows deteriorating Pak-Afghan ties as Islamabad closed the border post the suicide attack on the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan, which killed over 80 people.

Pakistan said that the recent terror attacks in the country were counducted by terrorists present on Afghan soil.

In a recent development, Pakistan on Monday registered protest with Afghanistan over the killing of five Pakistani soldiers by terrorists firing from Afghanistan soil.

"The Afghan Government was urged to thoroughly investigate the incidents and take firm action against the terrorists operating from its soil to prevent recurrence of such incidents.

It was further emphasised that cooperation from the Afghan side for effective border management was important for preventing cross-border movement of terrorists and militants," said a statement from the Foreign Office.

Source: ANI