Islamabad, Sep. 7 (EFE).- The main border crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan was closed for a second day on Thursday following clashes between security forces of the two countries a day earlier, an official told EFE.
The Torkham border crossing was shut down on Wednesday after clashes erupted over the construction of a check-post by the Afghan side, and the closure has resulted in long queues of goods trucks and and a large number of travelers piling up at the border.
“Afghan forces were setting up a check-post in an area on which it had been agreed that there should not be any post on either side,” alleged Ibrahim Khan, the head of Pakistan’s Landi Kotal police station in the area.
The official told EFE on Thursday that Pakistani officials had complained about the construction of the check-post, but did not receive a positive response by their Afghan counterparts
“They started firing first on Pakistani security forces, which was retaliated by our armed forces,” Khan claimed.
Subsequently, the border crossing had been shut down, with no information available about when it would be reopened.
Torkham is the main border crossing between Pakistan and landlocked Afghanistan located in the west of Peshawar, capital of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
The crossing – which accounts for 65 percent of the cross-border traffic – has been closed several times in the past as a result of bilateral tensions including incidents of firing, causing severe hardship to travelers and massive loss of business associated with the movement of goods.
Pakistan shares its longest border, 2,640 km, with Afghanistan, and it has been a constant bone of contention between the two countries.
The Afghan government does not recognize the porous border, calling it Durand Line – the name given by the British while laying down the de-fact border during the colonial era – while making claims on some territory controlled by Pakistan.
Clashes between the two sides have become more frequent since the Taliban seized power in Kabul in August 2021.
Islamabad has also alleged that the Pakistani faction of the Taliban – the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) – has been using Afghan soil to carry out terror-related activities inside Pakistan, but the Afghan Taliban have rejected the claims. EFE