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Torkham row: Afghanistan asks US to pressurize Pak to step back

An Afghan policeman walks near burning NATO supply trucks after

Kabul : As the standoff between Afghanistan and Pakistan continues over the Torkham border issue, the Afghan government has asked the U.S to put pressure on Islamabad to step back and let diplomatic efforts resolve the dispute.

The Afghan government officials yesterday asked Washington to exert new pressure on Islamabad to change its border policy and to stop creating further tension.

“The Americans have always supported the position of Afghanistan and we hope that this support will continue and increase. We hope that the problems which we have with our neighbors, particularly with Pakistan, are settled through increased diplomatic pressure,” Tolo News quoted Ministry of Interior Affairs spokesman Sediq Sediqqi as saying.

The statement from the Afghan side came after Washington said that it was closely watching the ongoing tension between both countries in the aftermath of the recent clash at Torkham border gate which has resulted in casualties on both sides.

Tension between both neighbours has sparked strong reactions among Afghans in general calling the U.S. to intervene into the matter.

The Torkham dispute is not the first such incident. In the past too, similar incidents of firing has taken place between the two nations.

Pakistan says it is building the gate to stop militants from crossing the border.

Firing between the two countries first broke out on Sunday after the Afghan forces prevented Pakistanis from constructing a gate at Torkham.

Afghanistan has blocked repeated attempts by Pakistan to build a fence on sections of the roughly 2,200-km-long frontier, rejecting the contours of the boundary.

Meanwhile, both Afghan and Pakistani authorities have agreed on a ceasefire at Torkham after three days of intense tensions that led to heavy clashes. (ANI)

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