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Imran Khan sympathised with Afghan

05 March, 2017

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LAHORE: During a meeting with Afghan Ambassador Omar Zakhilwal on Saturday, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan sympathised with the people stuck on either side of the recently-closed border, an English newspaper reported. In a tweet following the meeting, Kaptaan said, "Closure of Pak-Afghan border is building into a humanitarian crisis. The two governments need to cooperate effectively on cross-border terrorism." Both leaders also exchanged views on Pakistan-Afghan ties and were in agreement that negotiations between the two countries should resume at the earliest. The Afghan envoy highlighted the challenges faced by the Afghan people stuck on the Pakistani side of the border, to which the PTI chief said that urgent steps must be taken to help them. The PTI chief also emphasised that talks between the two countries must be expedited to allow cross-border movement of trucks carrying goods. In another tweet, the skipper reiterated, "Those with valid travel documents and perishable goods should be allowed to cross border to mitigate the suffering of ordinary people on both sides."

The hour-long-meeting was held at the PTI supremo's residence in Bani Gala, Islamabad. The border was closed in the wake of a suicide attack on Lal Shahbaz Qalandar's shrine in Sehwan. All traffic between the two countries has remained suspended since then, creating logistical difficulties for landlocked Afghanistan, which conducts most of its external trade through Pakistan. A large number of Afghan nationals have also been stranded in Pakistan by the decision. Pakistan has frequently used border closure to express its annoyance with Afghanistan on different issues. This time, the border was closed to press Kabul to take action against terrorists holed up in Afghanistan.

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