ISLAMABAD: Afghanistan has said construction of gate at Torkham border is “against the good neighbourhood and previous agreements.”

Officials in Khyber tribal region say construction of the gate had been completed and a formal inauguration is likely to be held on August 8. The opening of the “Pakistan Gate” was previously scheduled on August 1 but was postponed, local sources said.

Afghan and Pakistani forces were involved in exchange of firing in June after Afghanistan raised objections at building of the gate that caused casualties on both sides. The border remained close for at least five days.

“The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan condemns and regrets construction of at the Torkham Gate and views the action as contrary to the established norms and in contradiction with the principles of good neighbourhood,” the Afghan Foreign Ministry said.

“Afghan government considers the Pakistan government’s decision as inappropriate and violation of the previous agreements,” a statement said. The Dari language statement was received by The Express Tribune.

Pakistan has not offered comments on the latest reaction by the Afghan gov’t; however, the country has defended the construction and insisted that it was being constructed in Pakistani territory. Islamabad also says its border management is aimed at curbing the illegal cross-border movement.

Both sides later declared ceasefire and agreed on the formation of a bilateral mechanism to discuss all issues related to the border security. Senior Pakistani and Afghan military officials met for the first time in Kabul last week to discuss technical aspects of the border security and other affairs.

The Afghan Foreign Ministry’s statement said Kabul is “seriously examining several options to prevent the continuation of these violations by Pakistan.”

Tensions flare up after Pakistan introduced a new mechanism that made it obligatory for every Afghan to carry legal documents while entering Pakistan from June 1st.  The new system was aimed at curbing the illegal cross-border movement.

Afghans living near the Torkham border on both sides would earlier move across-the-border without passports and visas.

Pakistani security officials say that militants would take advantage of the loose border monitoring and would enter both sides for “terrorist acts.”

Pakistan and Afghanistan have nearly 2600 kilometers border, mostly porous.  Pakistani officials say the new mechanism would be extended to other formal crossing points.

The U.S.-led Resolute Support Mission also supports a strict border monitoring system to stop entry on both sides of the border of the militants, according to Pakistani officials.

Pakistan, Afghanistan and ISAF had border management centers at Torkham and Chaman in Balochistan until the end of 2014. However, the centers were closed with the end of the NATO’s military role.

Afghanistan and Pakistan had held a series of meetings to put in place bilateral border coordination centers at Torkham and Chaman but have failed to reach any agreement.