Afghan minister to visit Islamabad to discuss border issues

Islamabad, June 19 (IANS) Afghanistan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai, will visit Islamabad on Monday for talks to remove differences over the border management issues, the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad said on Saturday.

Clashes had erupted along the Torkham, the busiest border crossing, between the troops of the two countries on June 12 that caused casualties on both sides, Xinhua news agency reported.

Both sides have now declared ceasefire and the border was opened on Saturday after its six days closure. However, both countries have deployed troops and tanks along the border.

Pakistan Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz had invited Afghan National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar, and Foreign Minister Syed Salahuddin Rabbani to visit Pakistan to discuss the border issues and to remove any gaps in communication or understanding.

Afghanistan has accepted the talks offer but decided to send an Afghan delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai to Islamabad.

The foreign ministry said the Afghan delegation will visit Islamabad on Monday for “discussions on the issues relating to Torkham border crossing as well as other matters pertaining to border management”.

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

Pakistan and Afghanistan have nearly 2,600 km border, mostly porous, and the militants take advantage of the loose control.

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