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Aug
21

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QUETTA: A flag meeting between security officials of Pakistan and Afghanistan to reopen the Friendship Gate at Chaman border ended without any result Saturday afternoon, a well-placed para-military officer who declined to be named told Dawn.com as the gate remained closed for the third consecutive day.

The two sides adopted strict security measures on their respective borders during the meeting, convened at the request of Afghan border officials.

The two sides deliberated over issues related to the porous border that the two countries share.

Pakistan closed its border with Afghanistan in the aftermath of an attack on the Friendship Gate by Afghan nationals on Friday.

“The Afghans humiliated the Pakistani national flag and pelted stones at the Friendship gate,” said the official.

The gate’s closure suspended traffic between the two neighbours, a move which also hampered Nato’s supply to Afghanistan.

“Long queues of trucks and vehicles could be witnessed on both sides of the border,” Attal Khan Achakzai, a resident of Chaman, said.

People are facing difficulties as result of the border closure, he said, adding that traders remained the worst sufferers of the closure.

QRF personnel stand alert in their vehicles at the border crossing. -INP/File
QRF personnel stand alert in their vehicles at the border crossing. -INP/File

When asked about the period of closure, the para-military officer said, “the border has been closed for an indefinite time and we cannot give any time frame about opening of the border”.

Pakistani tribesmen had taken out a rally earlier this week in the border town of Chaman to condemn Indian Prime Minister Narendar Modi’s statement regarding Balochistan.

The officer stated that in retaliation the Afghans burnt the Pakistani national flag and pelted stones at the Friendship gate and smashed its windowpanes.

The Afghans, celebrating Afghanistan’s 97th independence at the border, resorted to pelting stones and chanting anti-Pakistan slogans.

Exercising restraint, the personnel of Frontier Corps avoided taking any action against the Afghan protesters who swarmed the gate.

Every day between 10,000 and 15,000 Pakistani and Afghan traders cross into Chaman and Vesh Mandi in connection with their business in the border towns.

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