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Hekmat Karzai due in Islamabad on Monday for border talks: FO

ISLAMABAD, 18 JUNE (DNA) – 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. 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 the 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 will visit 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 promoting 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 2600 kilometers border, mostly porous, and the militants take advantage of the loose control. In order to strengthen monitoring, Pakistan introduced a new mechanism that has made it obligatory for every Afghan to carry passport and visa to enter Pakistan from June 1st.

People living near the border areas on both sides would earlier move across the border without travel documents. Meanwhile Commander Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, met Pakistan Army General Raheel Sharif on Saturday amid Pak-Afghan tensions.

“During the meeting, regional security issues and matters of mutual interest including border management mechanism along Pak-Afghanistan border were discussed,” an army statement said. DNA






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