Taliban shut border between Afghanistan, Pakistan

Islamabad/Kabul, Feb 20 (EFE).- Afghanistan has closed its key border crossing with Pakistan amid soaring ties between former allies, the Afghan Taliban and Islamabad.

The Taliban administration said it ordered the border shutdown because Pakistan reneged on its commitments to facilitate smooth movement along the main border crossing between the two countries in Torkham.

“The commitments were regarding transit facilitation and patients’ visa,” provincial government spokesperson Quraishi Badloon told EFE on Monday.

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

As per official data, 65 percent of travelers from the two countries cross the border point that connects Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province with Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The border point is in the Pakistani city of Torkham along the Grand Trunk Road on the international border.

The two neighbors share decades of a border dispute.

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 2021, there were hopes that Pakistan will have better relations with Kabul compared to previous governments.

Pakistan also demanded the de facto 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.

Pakistan has witnessed a surge in insurgent violence since the Islamist regime seized power in Kabul.

Pakistan’s troubled Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) provinces, bordering Afghanistan, have seen many violent attacks blamed on banned Baloch separatists and the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, or the Pakistani Taliban.

The Pakistani Taliban is not directly linked to the Afghan Taliban but the two Islamist movements share their ideologies.

The TTP is an umbrella group of several armed organizations formed in 2007 to establish an Islamic state in Pakistan.

Since its inception, the group has carried out a brutal campaign of attacks across the country and killed thousands of people. EFE


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