Conflicts & War

Pakistan reopens key Afghan border crossing closed after shooting incident

Islamabad, Nov. 21 (EFE).- Pakistan on Monday reopened a key border crossing with Afghanistan for trade and pedestrian movements a week after it was closed over a shooting incident that left a Pakistani security guard dead.

Hafeez Khan, a Chaman district official, told EFE that the crossing opened today at 7 am “after both the countries agreed on some modalities.”

Known as the “Bab-e-Dosti (the friendship gate), the southwestern border crossing connects the Wesh area in landlocked Afghanistan with Chaman in Pakistan.

The gate was closed last week after an unknown assailant opened fire and killed a Pakistani soldier on duty in an incident that the Pakistan foreign ministry termed unfortunate.

In a separate incident, escalation between the two countries increased citing a land dispute in the Parachinar area in the Kurram tribal district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Sunday.

“A Pakistani soldier was killed and nine, including a civilian, were wounded in firing from the Afghan side,” Gul Bahadur, a police officer at the Kurram police headquarters, told EFE on Monday.

Pictures circulating on social media showed Pakistani soldiers wounded with blood stains on their clothes and being carried to hospitals.

The border dispute between Pakistan and Afghanistan is old.

Afghanistan does not accept the boundary between the two countries as an international border calling it the Durand Line.

Pakistan considers the 2,640-km long border as an international border and erected a barbed wire along it.

In the past, there have been some incidents of the Taliban fighters uprooting some parts of the wire.

After the Taliban took over Afghanistan in August last year, there were hopes that Pakistan will have better relations with Kabul compared to previous governments.

Pakistan also demanded the de factor Taliban government take action against the Pakistani Taliban militants who they say are hiding in Afghanistan.

However, since coming to power, the Afghan Taliban have not taken any such action rather playing the role of mediator between the Pakistan government and the Taliban.

The critical border point reopened on Monday and is the second largest crossing facility between the two countries providing main road access to landlocked Afghanistan to Karachi seaport in the south.

As per official data, around 25 percent of travelers from the two countries cross through this point followed by 65 percent through Torkham. EFE


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