Home Latest News Torkham Border Crossing Reopens after 10 Days

Torkham Border Crossing Reopens after 10 Days

Movement commences after Afghanistan assures Islamabad its soil will not be used against Pakistan

by Staff Report

File photo

The Torkham border between Pakistan and Afghanistan Friday reopened for all kinds of traffic after 10 days of closure triggered by clashes between border forces of the neighboring nations.

“The clearance of trucks is in process and Afghan citizens are entering Afghanistan after clearance and passing immigration processes,” Irshad Khan Mohmamd, assistant commissioner of Khyber, told the AFP news agency. A day earlier, local media had reported that the border was likely to reopen today (Friday) after a meeting between officials of both nations to resolve the situation.

Earlier this week, acting Afghanistan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi met Pakistan Mission in Kabul chief Ubaidur Rehman Nizamani and assured Islamabad that Afghan soil would not be used against Pakistan. The Afghan officials also urged Pakistan to reopen the border on “humanitarian” grounds, noting it was impacting trade and civilian movement.

The Torkham border was closed on Sept. 6 after a clash between border forces triggered by Afghan troops attempting to build a checkpost near the border without first informing Pakistan, as had been mutually agreed earlier. The Pakistani authorities had requested the Afghan side to halt the construction, describing it as a violation of international law, but Afghan forces had reportedly opened indiscriminate fire, leading to a clash that left a Frontier Corps soldier injured.

In a statement issued after the closure, Kabul had called for the border to be reopened, blaming Pakistan for initiating the clash. “The closure of Torkham gate can adversely affect bilateral and regional trade and could cause trade and financial losses to merchants on both sides,” read the statement, adding this could boost “distance between the fraternal people and countries.”

In response, Pakistan’s Foreign Office had stressed Islamabad cannot accept the construction of any structures by the interim Afghan government inside its territory since these violate its sovereignty.

The Torkham border crossing is the busiest in terms of trade and movement of people between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Its closure had raised concerns over perishables decomposing and impacting employment of people who work in the transport sector.

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