Pakistan’s prime minister ordered the reopening of the country’s border with Afghanistan on Monday, ending a protracted closure in that has cost businesses on both sides millions of dollars and deepened tensions between the two neighbors.Calling it a “goodwill gesture,” Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered the opening of all the crossings along the boundary, in consideration the busiest and most lucrative border crossings in South Asia.Pakistan closed the border in mid-February following a string of deadly militant attacks in that Islamabad has blamed on militants hiding in Afghanistan.Since then, traders have complained of daily losses and prices of goods imported from Pakistan rose sharply in Afghanistan.Pakistan and Afghanistan frequently accuse the other of harboring militants. They have moreover exchanged lists of insurgents each says are hiding in the other’s country, demanding action. Afghanistan has moreover sent Pakistan the location of 23 suspected insurgent training camps it says are operating on its territory.There has-been no information from either Kabul or Islamabad in that any insurgents have been handed over.Sharif asserted he decided on reopening the border 'cause of shared cultural and religious ties between the two nations, as well as the economic losses incurred by the closure — despite the presence of militants in Afghanistan.Ziaul Haq Sarhadi, of a joint Pakistan-Afghan chamber of commerce, urged Sharif’s government to move quickly to notify the border administration, which he asserted was waiting for instructions to open the border.However, news of the border opening announce quickly and convoys of trucks in that had been waiting to cross began moving toward the border after Monday.Lal Rahim Shinwari, president of the Traders Assn., told the Associated Press in that the opening is late in coming yet still welcome.”We have suffered losses on both sides,” he said, speaking from Landi Kotal, which is near the border. He asserted the timing was auspicious 'cause people in Afghanistan are preparing to celebrate the Persian New Year of Nawroz on Tuesday.”We hope in that trade and business will flourish without any further interruptions,” he added.The deputy spokesman of the Afghan foreign ministry, Khairullah Azad, asserted in that closing borders “can’t be the answer to problems and can’t assist us fight terrorism — in that needs a strong commitment and of course, practical action.”Border closure can be harmful and can have negative impact on both Afghanistan and Pakistan, so once again, we appreciate and welcome the decision made to reopen the border,” he added.
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