Pakistan reopens Afghanistan border
Pakistani soldier keeps guard at the Friendship Gate, crossing point at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. File Photo REUTERS/Saeed Ali Achakzai

The Chaman border crossing into Afghanistan's Kandahar province was reopened by the Pakistani authorities on "humanitarian grounds", the Pakistan military said on Saturday (27 May). This comes almost a month after the two nations exchanged fire, killing 15 people on both sides.

Pakistan shares a 2,200km-long (1,375 mile) border with Afghanistan.

"It has been agreed upon by Pakistan authorities that cease fire shall continue to be maintained and no border violation will be acceptable," the military said in a statement.

The move to reopen the crossing also comes on the first day of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in Pakistan.

An official from the Afghan passport department at Spin Boldak, Mohammad Sharif Gharzi said, the border reopened around 4pm local time on Saturday after negotiations between officials from both countries.

He said, "We welcome the opening of the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan at Spin Boldak."

He added it was "great news for all" given the pressure on locals fasting during Ramadan.

Pakistan had claimed that on 5 May the violence initially began when Afghan forces opened fire on census workers and troops escorting them.

However, Kabul had blamed Pakistan for initiating the gunfire. Police spokesman for Afghanistan's Kandahar province, Zia Durani said that the Pakistani officials were using the census as a cover for "malicious activities and to provoke villagers against the government".

Meanwhile on Saturday, a Pakistani oil tanker driver was killed when his vehicle was hit by a mortar round fired by the Iranian border force.

The incident occurred in the Panjgur area of the southwestern Baluchistan province bordering Iran, said Abdul Jabbar, an administrator in the district.