Islamabad (Staff Report): Pakistan on Friday closed Chaman and Torkham gates at its borders with Afghanistan for October 19-20.
Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal in a statement said that the crossing points have been closed on the Afghan request. The decision has been taken to support Afghanistan in smooth conduct of upcoming Parliamentary elections, he added.
The spokesman said both the crossing points will remain closed for all kinds of traffic except emergency cases.
Earlier the day, the Kabul government postponed voting in Kandahar province for this weekend’s crucial parliamentary elections.
With balloting for the 249 seats in the lower house of parliament scheduled for Saturday, top security officials decided in an early-morning meeting in the capital to put off polls for a week in Kandahar, one of country’s most influential provinces, said Shah Hussain Murtazawi, deputy spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
The ruling was based on recommendations from “the people of Kandahar” and electoral officials in Kabul, said Mr. Murazawi, giving no other details. Polling will go on as planned in 32 other provinces; the vote in Ghazni had been called off earlier because of security concerns.
The decision follows the shooting death on Friday of Gen. Abdul Raziq in Kandahar’s provincial capital. In an apparent insider attack, a bodyguard for the province’s governor opened fire on Gen. Raziq and other officials following a meeting on security preparations for Saturday’s vote.