Pakistan reopens border with Afghanistan shut over shooting
QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistan on Monday reopened its key Chaman border crossing with landlocked Afghanistan for trade and pedestrian movement after shutting it down a week earlier after an Afghan gunman shot and killed a Pakistani soldier and wounded two others, a Pakistani official said.
The deadly shooting on Nov. 13 shuttered the border, which is also known as Friendship Gate, causing heavy losses to traders and stranding thousands of people on both sides.
Abdul Majeed Zehri, a Pakistani government administrator in Chaman in southwestern Baluchistan province, told reporters that the decision to reopen the border came after talks with Afghan officials. They are searching for the attacker. Zehri said Afghan officials also expressed grief and sorrow over the killing of the Pakistani border guard.
There was no immediate comment from Afghan officials.
It was unclear what exactly promoted the Afghan attacker to open fire at Pakistani guards before fleeing the scene. According to TV footage, the attacker in the presence of Taliban border guards suddenly pulled out his gun and opened fire. Angered over the incident, Pakistan quickly closed the border.
Afghanistan’s Taliban seized the Afghan capital of Kabul 15 months ago. Since then, they have mostly relied on trade with Pakistan to generate revenue, although Islamabad like the rest of the world has not recognized the Taliban government yet. Pakistan, like other nations, wants the Taliban to fulfill their commitment to the international community to respect human and women’s rights.
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