Afghanistan border closure hurting kinnow exports

Afghanistan needs political solution Aizaz

Sharif said he decided on reopening the border because of shared cultural and religious ties between the two nations, as well as the economic losses incurred by the closure - despite the presence of militants still in Afghanistan.

Calling it a "goodwill gesture", Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered the opening of all the crossings along the boundary, considered the busiest and most lucrative border crossings in South Asia.

The border was closed last month after a series of attacks, claimed by the Taliban, killed at least 100 people in the country. Additionally, PM Nawaz stressed that he has always acknowledged and insisted that durable peace in Afghanistan was imperative for peace and security in Pakistan, adding that the government was in talks with Afghanistan regarding the elimination of terrorism from its soil.

Pakistani officials, including military high-ups blamed the attacks on "Afghanistan-based terrorists".

" The statement said "it has been chose to re-open the border as a good-will gesture with immediate effect, with the hope that the Government of Afghanistan would take the necessary steps, required to address the reasons, that led to closure of the border".

Pakistan had temporarily reopened the border crossings for two days in early March to allow visitors with valid visas on both sides to return home.

The decision to reopen that border came after last week's meeting between Prime Minister's Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Afghan National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar in London.

Afghanistan does not recognize the - Durand Line - a 2,640-kilometer (1,640-mile) long border, which was established in 1893 in line with an agreement between India under British colonial rule, and Abdur Rahman Khan, the then ruler of Afghanistan.

The newly-built Pakistan Gate on the Torkham Border was opened in August a year ago, to both traffic and pedestrians, albeit without a formal ceremony.

The protracted border closure has cost businesses on both sides tens of millions of dollars and fueled bilateral tensions.

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