March 22, 2023

The closing of the Torkham border crossing comes after relations between Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban and Pakistan deteriorated.

Torkham, the principle border crossing between Afghanistan and Pakistan, has been closed with residents of the world reporting listening to gunfire close to the usually bustling border transit level.

It was not instantly clear whether or not Afghan or Pakistani authorities closed the Torkham border crossing, close to the Khyber Cross, however Monday’s transfer comes after relations between Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban and Pakistan deteriorated sharply.

Mullah Mohammad Siddiq, a Taliban-appointed commissioner at Torkham, mentioned Pakistan has not been abiding by its “commitments … so the crossing level was shut down”, The Related Press reported.

Siddiq suggested Afghans to keep away from touring to the crossing, positioned on Afghanistan’s facet within the nation’s japanese Nangarhar province, till additional discover.

A general view of the border post in Torkham
A common view of the border submit in Torkham from the Pakistani facet [File: Alasdair Pal/Reuters]

Khalid Khan, a Pakistani police official, confirmed the border closure and what he described as intermittent exchanges of fireplace at Torkham, positioned in Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Disputes linked to the two,600km (1,615 miles) border have been a bone of competition between the neighbors for many years. The Torkham border level is the principle level of transit for vacationers and items between Pakistan and landlocked Afghanistan.

border clashes

Mohammad Ali Shinwari, a resident of Landi Kotal on the Pakistani facet, mentioned the border was closed late on Sunday and gunfire erupted early on Monday, Reuters information company reported.

“Once we heard gunshots within the morning, we acquired apprehensive and believed that troops of the 2 international locations may need began preventing,” he mentioned.

Clashes on the border have occurred for years, in the course of the two-decade rule of Afghanistan’s US-backed authorities and for the reason that Taliban took over Afghanistan in 2021.

Clashes between Afghan and Pakistani safety forces have additionally at occasions closed the second most vital crossing between the 2 international locations.

Pakistan has witnessed a surge in armed assaults since November, when the Pakistan Taliban, recognized by the acronym TTP, ended a months-long ceasefire settlement with the federal government.

The outlawed is a separate armed group allied with the Taliban in Afghanistan. It has been waging a insurrection in opposition to the state of Pakistan for greater than a decade.

Pakistan’s International Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari mentioned on the Munich Safety Convention on Sunday that the dangers of armed preventing stemming from Afghan soil might have an effect on the world.

A Taliban international ministry spokesperson mentioned later Pakistan ought to elevate points in personal and never at public boards. The ministry added that the Taliban administration wouldn’t enable its territory for use in opposition to different international locations, significantly in opposition to its neighbors.

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