ISLAMABAD - Afghanistan military has summoned Pakistan Ambassador Syed Abrar Hussain in Kabul to discuss the ongoing Pak-Afghan tension, the foreign ministry said yesterday.

A statement released by the foreign ministry here yesterday said that Hussain was “invited through Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a meeting with General Murad Ali Murad, Deputy Chief of Staff, at Ministry of Defence on 27 February 2017. Defence Attaché Brig Farooq Zaman also accompanied the ambassador.”

During the meeting, it said: “General Murad requested for de-escalation at the border and reopening of the crossing points between the two countries.”

Highlighting the sufferings of people due to closure of the border and cross-border shelling from Pakistan, he sought reduction in tensions. He also promised to take action against terrorists on the basis of shared information, the statement said.

Ambassador Hussain, in his response, briefed on the circumstances behind the actions taken by Pakistan, it added.

He said Afghan nationals were involved in recent attacks in Pakistan and stressed that Afghanistan should take appropriate measures for denying use of its soil by terrorists against Pakistan.

He informed that the border was closed to prevent crossing by terrorists. He stressed the need for efforts by both the countries to strengthen border management. The ambassador, however, promised to transmit the Afghan requests to Islamabad.

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani had skipped the yesterday’s Economic Cooperation Organisation Summit in Islamabad but Afghan ambassador to Pakistan Omar Zakhilwal represented his country as the special envoy.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan used ECO Summit to call on Pakistan to reopen border crossings between the two countries, saying barriers on trade, transit and the movement of people defy stated objectives of promoting economic cooperation among participating nations.

Afghan Ambassador Hazrat Omer Zakhilwal, who represented his government at the conference, underscored the need for separating economics from politics to promote the ECO mission of regional connectivity for economic prosperity.

“They [border crossings with Pakistan] have now been closed for about two weeks, causing enormous hardship to ordinary people and damage to traders on both sides. We cannot be for regional connectivity if at the same time we continue to implement barriers to trade, transit and movement of people between us,” he said.

“Honourable Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, in the spirit of today’s summit…, it will be the right message if your excellency instruct the opening of our formal trade and transit routes between our two brotherly countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan,” said Zakhilwal.