Pakistan reopens Torkham border after Afghan promises


Pakistan on Saturday reopened the Pak-Afghan border at Torkham following assurances from Afghanistan to probe into the torture on Pakistani nationals by Afghan forces.
Trucks stuck on both sides of the border resumed their progress, as well as people who had been stranded for two days.
The border was closed for traffic two days ago as a mark of protest by Pakistani officials after Afghan security forces beat up five Pakistani labourers who were on their way home. The Afghan personnel also damaged their passports.
After the closure of the border, thousands of people travelling between the two countries were stranded. Hundreds of trucks carrying goods for NATO troops stationed in Afghanistan snarled up on the border.
On Saturday, Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Pakistan Muhammad Omar Daudzai visited the Foreign Office in Islamabad and requested the officials to reopen the border. The Torkham officials said the border was opened on the intervention of the Foreign Office.
“Mohammad Umar Daudzai, Afghan ambassador to Pakistan, called on Alamgir Babar, Special Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs today. The two sides discussed the recent incidents where Pakistanis returning from Afghanistan were beaten near Kabul. Ambassador Daudzai promised that the matter would be investigated and action would be taken against those responsible,” said a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Pakistani labourers engaged in reconstruction and rehabilitation activities in Afghanistan face severe problems due to humiliating attitude of Afghan personnel. On the other hand, the Afghan officials have also lodged complaints with their Pakistani counterparts several times.
Pakistan had closed the border crossing on Friday for the second time in a week to register their protest against what they termed “illegitimate treatment” of Pakistani nationals by Afghan security forces in Afghanistan.
Both the neighbours, also partners in the war against terror, have a history of severe trust deficit and keep point fingers at each-other for acts of terror from each-other’s territory.
The statement said that Daudzai also assured that such incidents would not recur. The Afghan ambassador also raised the incident involving Afghan nationals in Landi Kotal, the statement said.
“Based on the assurances given by the Afghan ambassador, Pakistan side agreed to reopen the Pakistan-Afghanistan border which was closed since yesterday. Ministry of Interior is issuing instructions in this regard,” the statement concluded.