Pakistan on Thursday re-opened a friendship gate with Afghanistan at a border crossing in Balochistan that was closed for two weeks after Afghan protesters burned the Pakistani flag at a border rally. The border crossing, also known as Bab-e-Dosti (Friendship Gate), was closed on August 18 after some Afghan nationals gathered near the border gate and raised anti-Pakistan slogans.
A large number of people from both sides of the border today welcomed the reopening of the gate. The two sides held several rounds of talks and the matter was finally resolved yesterday when Afghanistan offered an apology and assurance that such incidents will not happen again, an official of Frontier Corps said. “We decided to open the gate from today after Afghanistan submitted a written apology over burning of flag,” he said. The decision to open the gate was reached in the 15th flag meeting between chief Lt Col Muhammad Changez who led talks from Pakistan with the Afghan officials led by Col Muhammad Ali.
Trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan has been adversely affected since the closure of the gate causing severe hardships for traders on both sides as vehicles were stranded and commercial activities came to a halt. Chaman is one of the busiest crossing points along with Torkham. More than 50,000 people, mostly Afghans, travel across the two facilities each day.