border conflict between Afghanistan and Pakistan; Torkham crossing remained closed for the second day
The main border crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan remained closed for the second day after border clashes between Pakistan Border Force and Taliban. The closure of the Torkham crossing has led to the accumulation of lorries/commercial trucks carrying goods and food.
This busy border crossing was closed on Wednesday (Sablah/September 15) and the Pakistani authorities and the Taliban in Afghanistan blame each other for the start of the conflict and exchange of fire that lasted for two hours. It is reported that two people were injured in these clashes.
Pakistan said tensions escalated after the Taliban began building a checkpoint on its side in a no-go zone near the border crossing.
Taliban officials say that contacts have begun to reopen the Torkham crossing between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Zabihullah Mujahid, a senior spokesman for the Taliban government based in Kandahar, told that Pakistani forces opened fire on Taliban border forces for no reason.
According to reports, the clash started after Pakistani forces opened fire on Taliban soldiers who were building a checkpoint near the border.
The traders say that the closure of Torkham will result in a lot of losses for traders on both sides, especially during the fruit harvesting season.
Abdul Basir Zabali, the spokesman of the Taliban police in Nangarhar in eastern Afghanistan, also said that the authorities of the two countries are trying to determine the “main reason” for this conflict.
Torkham border point is the main transit point for passengers and commercial goods between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Ziaul Haq Sarhadi, president of the Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said hundreds of trucks loaded with fruits, vegetables and other goods were stuck due to the border closure.
“Traders suffered heavy losses after the Torkham border was closed on Wednesday following a shooting incident there,” he told Reuters news agency. “The entire flow of trade has been affected and the loading of goods at the southern port of Karachi has also been disrupted.”
Disputes related to the 2,600-kilometer border line have been a point of contention between the two countries for decades.
Border clashes have already caused the closure of this busy border many times.
Four Pakistani soldiers were killed near the Afghan border
In a separate incident, Pakistan’s military said four soldiers were killed and 12 militants were killed in a clash in Chitral district near the Afghan border on Wednesday.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) announced in a statement that the fighters of this group have been fighting against the security forces in this area for the past two days.
After clashes in Chitral, a mountainous region near the Afghan border, Pakistan’s military reiterated its requests to Afghan Taliban officials to stop using Afghan territory for militant attacks in Pakistan.
The Afghan Taliban have denied that their territory is being used by militants and say that security concerns in Pakistan are an internal matter for the country.
The attacks of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan have increased in recent years against government forces in Pakistan.