Torkham border, a vital border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, has remained closed for the sixth day as talks between the two sides have failed to produce results, stranding trade convoys and travelers.
Hundreds of trucks carrying essential goods have been stuck on both sides since the Torkham border crossing – one of the two main crossings between the neighboring countries – was closed following a dispute.
According to sources, a discussion was held between Pakistani and Afghan officials regarding the closure of the Torkham border. However, sources said that talks between the two parties remained unsatisfactory.
The latest stalemate arose as Taliban soldiers began erecting a new security station near the Torkham border, which Pakistan regards as a breach of mutual accords.
On Monday, Pakistan expressed surprise at the Afghan foreign ministry’s statement over the Torkham border shutdown, stating that “interim Afghan authorities are fully aware of the reasons for the temporary closure.”
FO spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said in a statement that Pakistan could not accept the interim Afghan government’s building of any structures on its soil since it infringed its sovereignty.
“On September 6th, instead of a peaceful resolution, Afghan troops resorted to indiscriminate firing, targeting Pakistan military posts, damaging the infrastructure at the Torkham Border Terminal, and endangering the lives of both Pakistani and Afghan civilians when they were prevented from erecting such unlawful structures,” she said.
Under any circumstances, she said, such unprovoked and indiscriminate firing on Pakistani border stations could not be justified.
According to the spokesperson, unprovoked firing by Afghan border security forces invariably encourages terrorist elements. According to the latest report from the UN Security Council’s Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, these elements are enjoying safe havens within Afghanistan.
The Torkham and Chaman crossings, which connect Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan region with Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar province, are the busiest of the 18 crossing points shared by Pakistan and landlocked Afghanistan.
Since the Taliban retook power in Afghanistan in 2021, Pakistan has seen an increase in terrorist strikes.
Meanwhile, Jalil Abbas Jilani, the interim foreign minister, dispatched a demarche to the Afghan charge d’affaires in the aftermath of a terrorist attack on two military checkpoints in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Chitral province earlier this week.