Key crossing at Chaman reopened a week after an Afghan gunman killed a Pakistani security guard there.
Pakistan has reopened a key border crossing with neighbouring Afghanistan a week after an Afghan gunman killed a Pakistani security guard there, forcing a closure of the crossing.
“The deadlock has ended and mobility between the two countries has resumed for all purposes, including pedestrians as well as trade,” he said.
Officials told Al Jazeera the decision to reopen the Chaman border crossing – also known as Friendship Gate – was taken in a meeting between Pakistani and Afghan authorities on Sunday.
Abdul Hameed Zehri, another official in Chaman, said the Afghan authorities expressed regret over last week’s incident and assured action.
The Chaman border, situated nearly 120km (74 miles) to the northwest of Pakistan’s provincial capital Quetta, is one of the busiest border crossings between the two countries and is used by thousands of people every day.
The crossing was closed on November 13 when a Pakistani soldier posted at the border was fired upon. There was a brief exchange of fire between the two armies following the incident.
Imran Kakar, former president of the Chaman Chamber of Commerce, who was present in Sunday’s meeting, said the talks took place in a “friendly environment”.
Kakar said the local business community hopes such incidents will not hamper the livelihood of thousands of traders who use the crossing.
“Both countries get affected. People get affected. Businesses get affected. These issues must only be resolved through dialogue, and ensure that trade does not stop,” he told Al Jazeera.
RELATED: Taliban-led Supreme Court says 19 people lashed in northeastern Afghanistan
Nineteen people were publicly lashed in northeastern Afghanistan this month, the Taliban supreme court said on Monday (Nov 21), among the first major signs of the ruling group applying its strict interpretation of sharia (Islamic law) to criminal justice.
“After consideration and a strict sharia investigation, each of them were sentenced to 39 lashes,” supreme court spokesperson Mawlawi Enayatullah said, adding that nine women were among those lashed.
The punishments took place in the northeastern province of Takhar on Nov. 11 after Friday prayers on the order of provincial courts, the spokesperson said.
By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter