Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif orders immediate reopening of border with Afghanistan

BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 11: Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrives at the Chancellery to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on November 11, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. Sharif is on a two-day official visit to Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

ISLAMABAD: In a goodwill gesture, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday ordered the immediate reopening of the border with Afghanistan to facilitate the movement of Afghan citizens and resumption of lucrative cross-border trade.
The Prime Minister also hoped that the Afghan government would take measures to address the reasons for which the borders were closed by Pakistan.
He said recent incidents of terrorism in Pakistan have been traced back to anti-Pakistan elements in Afghanistan.
According to an official statement, Sharif also said that he reiterated time and again that durable peace in Afghanistan is imperative for peace and security in Pakistan.
He said Pakistan would continue to collaborate with Afghanistan to eliminate the menace of terrorism from the two countries.
The busy border was closed last month for indefinite period following a string of deadly militant attacks for which Pakistan accused terrorists hiding in Afghanistan.
The border remained shut except its temporary opening for two days to let more than 50,000 stranded people cross over.
Since then, traders have complained of daily losses and prices of goods imported from Pakistan rose sharply in Afghanistan.
Sharif ordered that the border should be reopened immediately “as a goodwill gesture,” the statement said.
“The decision to reopen the border is being taken as closure of the border for a long time in the backdrop of religious, culture and historical ties between the two countries would not be in the interest of the people and the economy,” said Sharif.
Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan is more than 2,400 km long and is the main route of trade between the two countries.