Torkham border reopens after 9-day closure

Torkham border reopens after 9-day closure
Source: File

Peshawar: (Web Desk): Pakistan-Afghanistan Torkham border reopened on Friday after 9 days of closure due to clashes between border forces. 

All kind of traffic is resumed on the border which is extensively used by people from both sides of border. 

Thousands of loaded vehicles had been stuck on both sides of the border due at crossing point in northwestern Pakistan. Clearance of trucks is underway.

Meanwhile, Pedestrian movement has begun following the resumption of traffic at the border with hundreds of travelers flocking to its immigration section. 

Traders on both sides had complained the loss of tons of perishable goods because of the border closure, while Afghan travelers missed vital hospital appointments or flights out of Pakistan.

The Torkham border between Pakistan and Afghanistan was closed on September 6 after a clash between the security forces of the two countries, which left a Frontier Corps soldiers injured.

The dispute arose over the "illegal construction" by the interim Afghanistan government on the Pakistani side of the border.

Pakistan said to Afghan government tried to encroach on its territory with the "illegal construction" and accused Afghan forces of "indiscriminate firing".

The Taliban foreign ministry said Pakistan security forces fired on its troops as they fixed an old security post near the border. They criticised the border closing at a key entry point for landlocked Afghanistan. 

The Foreign Office of Pakistan, on September 11, said Islamabad cannot accept the construction of any structures by the interim Afghan government inside its territory since this violate its sovereignty.

A series of talks between Pakistani and Afghan officials were held to resolve the issue and the border was opened. The understanding reached after Acting Afghanistan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi met the Head of the Pakistan Mission in Kabul, Ubaid Ur Rehman Nizamani.

In the meeting, the Afghan authorities assured Pakistan that Afghan soil won't be used against Pakistan.

It is important to mention that Afghan Taliban have denied their territory is being used by militants, stating security concerns within Pakistan as an internal issue. Meanwhile, attacks claimed by the banned outfit Pakistan Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) have grown in Pakistan in recent years and the group has pledged allegiance to the Afghan Taliban but is not directly a part of it.