Conflicts & War

Pakistan, Taliban reopen Chaman border crossing

Islamabad, Aug 13 (EFE).- The Chaman-Spin Boldak border crossing point between Pakistan and Afghanistan was reopened on Friday, a day after unrest among protesters demanding its reopening, according to official sources.

“Pakistan and the Taliban agreed yesterday in a meeting to reopen the border which happened today,” Fazal Khan, a security official at the Chaman gate told EFE without revealing more on the agreement between the two sides.

“Yesterday a 56-year-old Afghan citizen died because of heart attack. He was waiting at the gate to enter Afghanistan,” Khan said.

According to the official, the death of the Afghan citizen led to clashes between the Pakistani security forces and the protesters at the gate, but there were no casualties reported.

There were around 10,000 protesters at the gate on Thursday and it increased three-fold a day later.

The Taliban had shut down the crossing point on Aug.6, over certain visa requirements for Afghans entering Pakistan.

On Jul. 14, Taliban had seized control of the Afghan side of the border, called Wesh, at the Chaman crossing, which led to the Pakistani authorities shutting the crossing immediately over fears that radical Islamists could enter the country.

The border was reopened from the Pakistani side a few days later after authorities held a round of talks with the insurgents, a local official told EFE.

Once the crossing opened, Taliban fighters imposed new taxes on different commercial goods, which led to the traders having to pay double taxes: first to the Taliban for crossing, and later again to the Afghan government.

Chaman is the second largest border point between the two countries and provides the landlocked Afghanistan road access to the sea port in Karachi, Pakistan’s biggest financial hub.

As per official data, normally around 1,000 commercial trucks cross through the point daily.

However, after the Taliban captured the border, the number of truck transits had reduced to 100 per day because of the security situation. EFE


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