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Afghan envoy demands reopening Torkham border

| Updated: Feb 23, 2017 23:25 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], Feb. 23 (ANI): Afghan ambassador to Islamabad Omar Zakhilwal has demanded authorities to reopen the Torkham border, which was shut down by Pakistan following the Sehwan attack. Zakhilwal said the closure is causing 'hardships' for people on both sides, reports The Express Tribune. "As part of the quick de-escalation of the prevailing tension between Afghanistan and Pakistan, as agreed in our talks with the relevant Pak authorities a couple of days ago, Torkham, Spin Boldak and other crossing points should have reopened by now but unfortunately still remain shut," the envoy said in a statement on Thursday. "In fact, formal trade and transit crossing points between our two countries, under no circumstances, should have been closed in the first place, both as per Afghanistan-Pakistan Trade and Transit Agreement (APTTA) and also Afghanistan's land-locked country transit right as per international rules," he said. Zakhilwal expressed hope that the Pakistan military would open the border "without causing further hardships". Post the suicide attack on the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan, which killed over 80 people, security forces closed the Pak-Afghan border for all sorts of communication indefinitely. Pakistan Army also moved heavy artillery towards the border in Chaman and Torkham districts. It has also accused Afghanistan of harbouring the militants who have carried out the most recent attacks in the country. The army claimed that nearly a dozen training camps and hideouts of the terrorist groups were destroyed and over a dozen terrorists - including a top trainer of suicide bombers - were also killed in two days of artillery shelling by Pakistan Army on the border. (ANI)