Pakistan Eases Travel Restrictions, Announces Aid For Afghanistan

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Pakistan to ease travel, trade restrictions at its land border and provide more than $28m in immediate humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.

Pakistani Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi stated at a news conference in the Pakistani capital Islamabad that, delegation-level talks with the Afghan interim government, including interim Afghan Prime Minister Mohammad Hassan Akhund, were positive.

“The Pakistani people stand with the Afghan people in this difficult time.

“We have never left room on this, and this remains our thought,” said Qureshi.

Pakistan-imposed restrictions on the movement of goods and travellers through the two main land crossings between the countries had been a key point of tension in recent weeks.

Afghan visitors to Pakistan with valid visas will now be able to cross the border freely, with an e-visa facility introduced in order to streamline the visa application process.

Visa fees have also been waived until December 31. An additional documentary and fee requirement for a “gate pass” has now also been dropped.

Esther/Al-Jazeera

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