Pakistan reopens border crossing with Afghanistan
Pakistan has reopened a main border crossing with Afghanistan which it closed nearly two weeks ago following an anti-Islamabad protest there.
Army spokesman Lieutenant General Asim Bajwa said on Thursday that the decision to reopen the border crossing near the Pakistani border town of Chaman was made after an Afghan official offered an apology over the rally and gave assurances that such incidents would not happen again.
The Chaman crossing was closed by Pakistan’s Frontier Corps nearly two weeks ago after Afghan nationals carrying banners and shouting anti-Pakistan slogans burnt the Pakistani flag and pelted stones at security personnel from across the border.
A large number of people from both sides of the border welcomed the reopening of the gate.
Bajwa said during a news conference on Thursday that Pakistan is strengthening its border management system to prevent militants, including Daesh Takfiri terrorists, from entering Pakistan via 18 crossing points along the border with Afghanistan.
“We wanted to seal those areas so that terrorists from this side of the border don’t go there and vice versa,” he said.
He also said hundreds of small posts would be set up where Frontier Corps forces would be deployed.
“Additional Frontier Corps wings will be raised, but until that happens, Army troops will provide reinforcement in many areas,” he added.
Pakistan has intensified its battle against militancy since June 15, 2014 when it started Operation Zarb-i-Azb against militants.
Militancy started spreading from Afghanistan into Pakistan following the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.