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Pakistan reopens key border crossing with Afghanistan

Pakistan reopens key border crossing with Afghanistan

Torkham border fully reopened for trade, transit, and pedestrian movement from both sides, says official

 

By Islamuddin Sajid 

 

ISLAMABAD (AA) - 

Pakistan reopened a key border crossing with neighboring Afghanistan to all types of traffic on Saturday.

The Torkham border, which connects Pakistan's northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province to neighboring Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province, was shut down unilaterally by the interim Taliban administration last week.

Later the Afghan administration announced to reopen it on Thursday. However, Pakistani authorities refused to reopen the border, a local official at the border told Anadolu over the phone.

"Last evening, we temporarily opened the border for Pakistanis who were stuck on the Afghan side," the official said, declining to be identified because he was not authorized to speak with the media.

"Finally, we fully reopened the border for trade, transit, and pedestrian movement from both sides this morning," he added.

Last Sunday, Kabul unilaterally shut down the border crossing. The closure followed an exchange of fire between the two border forces on Monday.

The latest development came three days after Pakistan's Defense Minister Khawaja Asif met with Afghanistan's acting Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and acting Defense Minister Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob in Kabul on Wednesday.

Pakistan and landlocked Afghanistan share 18 crossing points, with the busiest ones being the Torkham and Chaman, which connects Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan province with Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province.

Clashes between the two border troops have long been taking place, and there is no lull even after the Taliban retakes Afghanistan in August 2021.

Last December, at least six Pakistani civilians were killed in an exchange of heavy fire along the Chaman border.

Apart from trade activities, thousands of people, mostly Afghans, daily cross into the two bordering areas for medical and labor purposes.

The two neighbors share a porous border of almost 2,670 kilometers (1,640 miles).

 

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