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Pakistan Accuses Afghanistan Of Building ‘Unlawful Structures’ Along Border 

This comes a day after talks between the two countries on reopening the Torkham crossing failed.

Pakistan claims that the Taliban administration in Afghanistan violated its territorial sovereignty by erecting “unlawful structures” near a crucial border crossing.  

Following a fatal exchange of fire between their soldiers on Wednesday, the Torkham border crossing in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region has been blocked. Since then, hundreds of vehicles carrying necessities have become stuck on both sides.  

In a statement released on Monday by Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the ministry said the most crucial commerce route between Pakistan and Afghanistan was shut down, because of “unprovoked and indiscriminate firing” by Afghan forces. 

The statement read, “On the 6th of September, instead of a peaceful resolution, Afghan troops resorted to indiscriminate firing, targeting Pakistan military posts, damaging the infrastructure at the Torkham Border Terminal, and putting the lives of both Pakistani and Afghan civilians at risk, when they were stopped from erecting such unlawful structures.” 

This comes a day after talks between the two countries on reopening the Torkham crossing failed. 

The Taliban administration said on Saturday that Pakistani security forces opened fire on its soldiers while they were fixing an “old security post.” It said Islamabad was “causing hindrances and delays” in the transit point’s opening. 

The statement from the Afghan government read, “[The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan] reminds the Pakistani side that such actions are detrimental to the trade of Afghanistan, region and national economy of Pakistan, which is heavily dependent the most on exports in the current situation.” 

According to Pakistan, the guards’ gunfire exchange last week was caused by the Afghan troops allegedly “illegally” constructing a new border station. Two of the Taliban’s guards were reportedly killed in the exchange of fire.  

The Torkham border shutdown comes at a time when tensions between the two nations are still high, and Pakistan has frequently urged Afghanistan to keep track of armed terrorists’ movements and prevent them from invading its territory.  

Afghanistan disputes the claim that it permits armed organizations to launch attacks on neighbouring countries from its territory.  

The accusation from Pakistan comes in the wake of an increase in armed assaults in the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan since the Taliban took control in 2021. 

The banned Pakistani Taliban, also known by the abbreviation TTP, which shares an ideological stance with the Taliban in Afghanistan, is responsible for most of these assaults.  

TTP claimed to have assaulted two military checkpoints in the isolated Chitral area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on the day of the Torkham shooting, killing four Pakistani troops in the process. Also lost in the strikes were at least 12 TTP militants. 

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi 

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