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Talks between Pakistan and Afghanistan about better border management

ISLAMABAD: A seven-member Afghan delegation reached Islamabad, Pakistan Monday morning to discuss Pak-Afghan border tensions between the two countries.

The delegation was led by Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Karzai. Representatives from both the countries discussed the nearly week-long border skirmishes and devise strategies to curb mismanagement and tensions between the neighbours.

“Pakistan welcomes the visit and looks forward to meaningful deliberations through a constructive engagement between the two sides with a view to promoting bilateral relations as well as peace and stability of our two countries and the region,” a Foreign Ministry statement said on Friday.

In another statement issued Monday, the FO said: “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.”

“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.”

A Pakistani official who declined to be named said the border had reopened last week and “the construction work on the gate has also resumed”.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry spokesman posted a message on Twitter saying: “Only passport holders allowed from Afghan side.”

At least four people were killed in fighting in the area on the night of June 12, heightening the dispute over Pakistan’s plan to build a barrier at the crossing to stop fighters coming in from Afghanistan.

Pakistan Army Major Ali Jawad was one of the four who lost their lives in the firing and tensions that spanned over six days.

At least 20 others were also wounded in outbreaks of shooting on both sides


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