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Imran, Afghan envoy discuss border closure

PTI leader calls closure ‘a humanitarian crisis’

Gulf News

Islamabad: The problems arising from the closure of two main border crossings between Pakistan and Afghanistan for more than a fortnight were discussed when Afghan Ambassador Omar Zakhilwal held a meeting with Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan at the latter’s residence here Saturday.

In a tweet following the meeting, Khan said the border closure “is building into a humanitarian crisis” and urged the two governments to cooperate effectively on cross-border terrorism.

According to PTI officials it was emphasised during the meeting that negotiations between the two countries should resume at the earliest.

The closure of the border crossings was ordered by Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on February 16, hours after militants struck Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s shrine at Sehwan in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province, killing 90 people.

All traffic between the two countries has remained suspended since then, creating logistical difficulties for landlocked Afghanistan, which conducts most of its external trade through Pakistan. Many Afghan nationals have also reportedly been stranded in Pakistan.

Pakistan has frequently asked Kabul to take action against terror outfits that it accuses of taking up sanctuary on Afghan soil and directing attacks from there.

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