LAST_UPDATETue, 19 Jun 2018 12am

Pakistani PM Orders Reopening Of Border With Afghanistan

Nawaz Sharif. Photo: The Times of IslamabadNawaz Sharif. Photo: The Times of Islamabad

ISLAMABAD -- Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday issued directives to immediately re-open the country's border with Afghanistan after it was closed over a month ago, China's Xinhua news agency reported.

Pakistan closed the border last month over security concerns after a series of attacks which killed nearly 100 people.

Officials said the Taliban group, which claimed responsibility for the attacks, operated from Afghanistan's border regions.

"The recent incidents of terrorism in Pakistan have been traced back to anti-Pakistan elements in Afghanistan," Sharif said.

"However, the decision to re-open the border is being taken as closure of the border for a long time in the backdrop of religious, culture and historical ties between the two countries would not be in the interest of the people and the economy," said the prime minister.

Thousands of containers carrying goods have been stranded on both sides of Torkham and Chaman, two major crossings between the two countries since Feb 19.

The prime minister said that the decision to re-open the border is a goodwill gesture, hoping that the Afghan government would take measures to address the concerns for which the border was closed.

Sharif reiterated that durable peace in Afghanistan is imperative for peace and security in Pakistan.

"Pakistan will continue to collaborate with Afghanistan to eliminate the menace of terrorism from the two countries," he said.

Traders in both countries said they suffered millions of dollars' loss due to the closure of the border.

Pakistan has an agreement with Afghanistan which allows the landlocked Afghanistan to import goods via Pakistan.