ISLAMABAD - Pakistan on Saturday congratulated the people and the government of Afghanistan on successful holding of the 4th presidential election.

In a statement on Saturday, the Foreign Office spokesperson said the people of Afghanistan particularly deserved appreciation for their clear decision to continue with the democratic course despite serious hurdles and challenges.

“We sincerely hope that the new government elected through a free, fair and transparent voting process will enjoy the full mandate to take the stalled peace process forward. This is important for ending the 18-year old conflict through an inclusive, Afghan-led and Afghan-owned negotiated political settlement. Pakistan will continue to facilitate the new Afghan government towards this end,” the spokesperson said.

On very short notice, govt opens border crossings on Kabul’s request

He said Pakistan wanted to see a strong, independent, peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan as key to regional peace and stability. Pakistan and Afghanistan enjoy a broad and deep relationship and both countries need to work in close coordination for mutual benefits of their two peoples.

Border crossings opened

Monitoring Desk adds: Pakistan opened all major border crossing terminals on Saturday for the Afghan citizens to allow them to cast their vote in the key presidential election.

About 9.6 million Afghans are registered to vote in key presidential poll which marks the culmination of a bloody election campaign.

Foreign Office (FO) said in a statement that the country received a request from the Afghan Ministry of Defence on very short notice for border facilitation and opening of border crossings.

“Therefore, it has been decided to open major border terminals to facilitate movement of Afghan citizens across Pakistan-Afghanistan border, so that they are able to exercise their right to vote during presidential election in Afghanistan,” the FO said.

It also said that in spite of security issues along the border, Pakistan would continue to support the Afghans.

In view of the Afghan election and in support of domestic transition in Afghanistan, Pakistan has decided to enhance security along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Earlier two days ago, Pakistan had said it will close “all passage ways/cargo terminals (except for emergency patients) on 27-28 September.”

Pakistan had also decided to implement “strict security check of all pedestrians and trading vehicles from 26-29 September.”

The steps were taken to stop any miscreants moving across the border to disrupt the process of elections, the FO said.