September 12, 2023
ISLAMABAD – Pakistan accuses Taliban administration of encroaching on its territory through the construction of an ‘unlawful structure.’ This allegation has sparked tensions between the two nations, leading to the closure of the critical Torkham border crossing, which serves as a major transit point for trade and travel.
The conflict escalated when Pakistani and Afghan Taliban forces engaged in “indiscriminate firing” at each other, resulting in the shutdown of the busy border crossing last Wednesday, as reported by local officials.
Situated along the Grand Trunk Road on the international border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, the Torkham border crossing is a vital link connecting Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province with Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. It serves as a crucial hub for the transportation, shipping, and receiving of goods between the two countries.
In response to the closure, the Afghan Taliban expressed dissatisfaction, foreseeing significant losses for businesses affected by the halt in trade.
Taliban accuses Pakistan:
Amidst the tension, the Taliban government accused Pakistani security forces of opening fire on its troops while they were engaged in repairing an “old security post.” The Taliban asserted that Islamabad’s actions were causing delays and obstacles in reopening the transit point. Tragically, the exchange of fire led to the loss of two Taliban guards’ lives.
The situation has left thousands of travelers and numerous trucks laden with goods stranded in the border region, causing significant disruptions in cross-border commerce.
Furthermore, reports from local media have indicated that the Taliban-led government is deeply concerned and harbors a sense of mistrust regarding the Pakistani government’s decision to halt the movement of hundreds of containers filled with Afghan goods at the Karachi post.
These recent events underscore the delicate nature of the relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan, with both sides leveling accusations and expressing frustration over the border dispute and its repercussions on trade and regional stability.