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Iran Press TV

Pakistan, Afghanistan fail to reach border deal

Iran Press TV

Mon Jun 20, 2016 2:56PM

Officials from Pakistan and Afghanistan have reportedly failed to reach an agreement on how to manage the porous border between the two countries.

A Monday statement from the Afghan Foreign Ministry said that Kabul is still opposed to Pakistan's construction of checkpoints along the disputed boundary, adding that the move violates Afghanistan's territorial rights.

Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai, who led the Afghan delegation to the talks in Pakistan, raised in the negotiations what he called "various violations" by Islamabad, including setting up checkpoints in Afghan territory.

The statement said Karzai also "strongly protested against Pakistan's ongoing unprovoked artillery shelling of Afghan villages."

Clashes erupted earlier in the week along the border after Pakistan started building a barrier at the crossing in a bid to stop the movement of Afghan militants into Pakistani territory.

The fighting, which killed four and left thousands stranded, ended after a ceasefire was reached on Thursday with Kabul agreeing to dispatch a delegation to Pakistan to discuss the issue.

Pakistani officials confirmed the talks could not end in a deal and said they would insist on building the checkpoints. A Pakistani foreign office official said Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry informed the Afghan delegation that Pakistan planned to build four gates at different points on the border.

"There was no final agreement but we have informed them (Afghanistan) of our position," the anonymous official said, adding, "These gates are important for the safety and security of both Pakistan and Afghanistan."

People protested outside the provincial parliament in Peshawar on Monday over the unchecked movement of Afghans into Pakistan. The demonstrators, who were mostly traders, demanded the expulsion of Afghan refugees, saying they have destroyed peace in the country. Pakistan hosts some 2.5 million Afghan refugees.

Pakistani officials said top diplomats from the two countries would hold further discussions on border management at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Tashkent later this week.

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