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Torkham border crossing reopens after 10 day-closure

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  • Pedestrian movement begins as traffic on border resumes.
  • Clearance of trucks is in process, govt official says.
  • He adds Afghans also begin entering Afghanistan.

The Torkham border between Pakistan and Afghanistan Friday reopened for all kinds of traffic after 10 days of closure due to clashes between border forces.  

Pedestrian movement has begun following the resumption of traffic at the border with hundreds of travellers flocking to its immigration section for entry into Afghanistan.

“The clearance of trucks is in process and Afghan citizens are entering Afghanistan after clearance and passing immigration processes,” Irshad Khan Mohmamd, assistant commissioner of Khyber district in Pakistan, told AFP.

The Torkham border between Pakistan and Afghanistan was closed on September 6 following a clash between the security forces of the two countries, which left a Frontier Corps soldier injured.

The dispute arose over the “illegal construction” of a bunker by the interim Afghanistan government on the Pakistani side of the border.

The FO, on September 11, said Islamabad cannot accept the construction of any structures by the interim Afghan government inside its territory since these violate its sovereignty.

The crossing is the busiest for trade and people between the two nations, which share a porous 2,600-kilometre (1,600-mile) frontier that cuts through rugged mountains and valleys.

Traders on both sides complained that tons of perishable goods were lost because of the border closure, while Afghan travellers missed vital hospital appointments or flights out of Pakistan.

A day earlier, a customs official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told Geo News that the border was likely to reopen today (Friday).

“The Torkham border will be opened for trade from tomorrow,” the official had said, adding that import, and export including the passageway of transit vehicles will be restored from Friday onwards.

The decision came after Acting Afghanistan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi met the Head of the Pakistan Mission in Kabul, Ubaid Ur Rehman Nizamani.

In the meeting, the Afghan authorities assured Pakistan that Afghan soil would not be used against Pakistan. Sources, privy to the decision, said the decision to reopen the border came after this meeting.

Pakistani authorities had requested the Afghan side to halt the construction, citing it as a violation of international law, an official performing duty at the Torkham border had told The News on the condition of anonymity.

However, the Afghan authorities did not heed this request. Consequently, the border was closed due to the escalating tensions stemming from this construction dispute.

‘Mortar shells fired’

Speaking about the attack ahead of the border’s closure, the on-duty official at the border said several mortar shells were fired from the Afghan side, which landed at the offices of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Customs and other official workplaces.

The official added that a mortar shell also hit a mosque on the Pakistani side of the border while another landed in the Bacha Mena border village. However, these did not cause any casualties.

He added gunfire started at 2pm and continued for around three hours resulting in FC soldier Maqsood, sustaining bullet injuries and was taken to a hospital.

In the midst of this border dispute, a significant number of individuals found themselves stranded on both sides of the border. Among them were travellers, patients, women, and children, as well as trucks, some of which were loaded with goods.

The situation led to the closure of hundreds of government and private offices as a precautionary safety measure.

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US envoy urges deeper strengthening of relations with Pakistan

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The significance of strengthening relations with Pakistan was highlighted by US Ambassador Donald Blome on Thursday.

Blome visited the Chaukhandi cemetery in Karachi, based on the information. President Donald Blome and other delegates were cordially welcomed by Sindh Minister of Culture and Tourism Syed Zulfiqar Ali Shah on this particular occasion.

Narendra Kumar, Heather Murphy, and Zahra Hajiani were among the delegation members who visited Chaukhandi Graveyard’s historic tombs with the American envoy, Acting Consul General Jimmy Mauldin.

Highlighting the rich historical significance of Chaukhandi graveyard, Minister Zulfiqar Ali Shah shared his ideas with the US ambassador.

Blome highlighted the Chaukhandi tombs for their exquisite craftsmanship and architectural design. He promised to help Pakistani visitors with their visa requirements.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), he promised to promote the nation’s historical sites.

In the meantime, Shah stated, “The Sindh government is taking steps to provide all sorts of facilities to the tourists.”

Pakistan will receive additional assistance from the US to lower methane gas emissions.

The US decided to help Pakistan lower its methane gas emissions earlier this month.

At a USAID Climate Financing event, US Ambassador Blome stated: “We are working very hard to lower methane gas emissions from dairy farming. The Green Climate Fund in Pakistan will be consulted for funding this initiative.”

“As of 2030, there are global efforts to reduce the temperature by 1 degree Celsius. The US-Pakistan Green Alliance is being followed by the collaboration with Pakistan, according to Blome.

“The problems can only be addressed by providing the stakeholders with financial and technical resources,” he continued.

The government’s first aim is to revitalise the cattle industry, according to Federal Secretary Dr. Fakhre Alam. Raising dairy farming’s production capacity will help it overcome its environmental problems.”

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Shehbaz travels to the UAE in order to strengthen trade relations.

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This visit, which is being accompanied by a high-level delegation made up of important ministers such as Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Commerce Minister Jam Kamal, Information Minister Ataullah Tarar, and advisor Tariq Fatemi, is intended to strengthen bilateral ties and expand cooperation between the two countries.
Prime Minister Sharif will visit President Muhammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi. The high-level gathering will cover Pakistani and UAE bilateral relations, with an emphasis on commerce and investment.

Along with exploring strategic alliances and shared interests that can help their respective nations, they are also expected to concentrate on talking about ways to advance collaboration across a range of industries.

Prime Minister Sharif has talks planned with other Emirati leaders, businesspeople, and heads of financial organisations in addition to his diplomatic engagements. In an effort to promote economic cooperation and draw in investment, he is also scheduled to meet with businessmen and investors from Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates.

The Shehbaz intends to encourage UAE companies to extend their operations into the Pakistani market by interacting with influential businesspeople and highlighting investment prospects in Pakistan.

These exchanges will offer a forum for talking about doable ways to strengthen business relations and carry out initiatives that will benefit both parties. Pakistan’s determination to enhance its political and economic ties with the United Arab Emirates is demonstrated by the visit.

After ending his day-long journey to Iran to offer condolences for the terrible death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his entourage in a helicopter crash on Sunday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has returned to Pakistan.

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Memon accuses temporary government of ‘delaying’ the BRT Red Line project

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On Thursday, Sindh Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon accused the interim administration of “delaying” the Red Line project of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).

Memon stated what he thought, saying, “The BRT Red Line project was mission impossible. However, the project has now begun to be worked on.”

“The reason government is formed is to solve the issues that the people face. “The government is working tirelessly to bring relief to the masses,” he declared.

Memon declared, “It’s also being done about the unlawful bus stands. The passengers will have access to shuttle service from us.”

“A large number of transport projects have already begun. “We aim to ensure that every individual receives a chance to work,” he continued.

Pakistan was ‘started to damage’ by the founder of PTI.

Memon reported on Thursday that a campaign to hurt the nation was started by the founder of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

Memon said at a Karachi event: “Israel discusses the human rights violations in Pakistan. Israel, a party to the Palestinian holocaust, is endorsing the PTI’s founder. Israel has provided election funding to the PTI’s founder.”

“The worst election tampering in 2018 produced the PTI founder’s victory. Police officers, the parliament, and the PTV were all attacked,” he claimed.

“The entire country was closed due to a 126-day protest,” Memon claimed.

The PTI founder was made fun of by Memon, who said, “The PTI founder had always embraced the politics of anarchy.”

Memon stated the following when discussing the state of law and order in Sindh: “The Sindh government is serious about the state of law and order in the province. In terms of keeping Sindh peaceful, everyone is in agreement.”

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