PESHAWAR - Pakistan on Thursday named the newly constructed gate at Torkham border with Afghanistan as Bab-i-Pakistan (Pakistan Gate).

A flag hoisting ceremony was held with unfurling of national flag at 6am, signaling the opening of the gate at the border crossing on the historic trade route. The flag was lowered at 7pm, marking the close of border for the day.

There was a proposal that the gate be called Major Ali Jawad Changezi gate, after the army major who lost his life in armed clashes with Afghan security forces. However, instead of the gate, the crossing terminal has been named Shaheed Major Ali Jawad Changezi terminal.

Torkham is one of the busiest crossing points between the two countries and is used by 15,000 to 20,000 people and hundreds of vehicles daily.

Frontier Corp’s Major Changezi and three soldiers died on both sides last month in skirmishes between Pakistani and Afghan security forces over the construction of the gate, and the gate remained closed for six days.

Work on the construction of the gate and allied facilities began in 2014, but Afghan objections to the border regulation kept causing delays.

At least 10 border flag meetings have been held between local commanders since 2015 for resolving the matter, in addition to several other interactions at higher level.

The Afghan government has traditionally opposed Pakistani moves to regulate the border. Pakistani authorities insist that border regulation is crucial for curbing cross-border terrorist movement.

Under the new border management system, only people with valid travel documents will be allowed to cross the border.

Pakistan plans to have similar border control measures at all six major crossing points between the two countries that share a 2,600km-long porous border.

Additionally, there are about 200 crossing routes which are not frequently used because of difficult terrain and absence of roads. At least 88 of them are accessible only through jeeps.