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Constructing gate on Torkham border is not violation of any agreement: Aziz

Afghans push India for more arms

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Thursday told the National Assembly that Pakistan is not breaching any agreement by constructing a gate on Torkham border and will go on with the project to make effective border management possible.
In his policy statement, Aziz claimed that Pakistan had informed the Afghan authorities about its intention to build the gate and the construction work had started back in November 2014.
“When Afghan authorities expressed their reservations, we took them into confidence and told them that the gate is constructed inside Pakistani territory,” said the Adviser.
He said such border management steps will also help both countries in their combined efforts to combat terrorism as “unregulated movement allows infiltration of terrorists and smugglers”, adding that all the other border crossings with Afghanistan will also be regulated in near future.
It is pertinent to mention that border authorities of Pakistan and Afghanistan formally agreed over ceasefire at Torkham after three days of violence and waved white flags on both sides of the border. The construction work on Torkham gate also started following the ceasefire announcement.
Afghanistan had summoned the Pakistani ambassador on Tuesday to register its protest at the violence, Afghanistan’s foreign ministry said.
Pakistan had similarly summoned the Afghan charge d’affaires in Islamabad on Monday, the Pakistani foreign office said.
The Pakistan-Afghanistan border has long been porous and disputed. Afghanistan has blocked repeated attempts by Pakistan to build a fence on sections of the roughly 2,200-km-long frontier, rejecting the contours of the boundary.

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