PAK and Afghanistan express ‘mutual desire to amicably resolve border related issues’

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An Afghan delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai visited Islamabad today (Monday) for discussions on issues relating to the Torkham border and other matters pertaining to border management.
The Pakistan delegation was led by Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry.

The Afghan delegation arrived in Islamabad following a telephone conversation of Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz with Afghan National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar on 15 June 2016 to address the situation arising from recent events at the Torkham border crossing and to find a way forward on efforts for border management.

“Today‘s talks between the two delegations were held in a cordial atmosphere marked by a mutual desire to amicably resolve border related issues. Both sides decided to work in the spirit of good neighbourly relations and friendly cooperation between the two countries,” the Foreign Office states in a press release.

The two sides agreed that the ideas generated in today s deliberations will be shared with the leadership and further discussed and refined during a meeting between the Adviser and the Afghan Foreign Minister on the sidelines of the forthcoming SCO Summit in Tashkent on 23-24 June 2016.

During the discussions, it was emphasized that there was a need for creating a suitable mechanism for consultation on border management issues. Effective border management is vital for promoting peace, countering terrorism and strengthening relations between the two countries.

Afghanistan and Pakistan last week traded deadly heavy gunfire and artillery at the Torkham border crossing after Pakistan started building a gate on its side to check for unwanted and illegal movement.

Pakistan reopened the border crossing on Saturday, after the clashes stopped, allowing thousands of stranded to cross.

Thousands of vehicles normally pass through the crossing every week, making it a vital trade link between the countries.

As part of the agreement, officials said all Afghans would need official documents to pass into Pakistan.

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