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Trade resumes as Pakistan reopens key border crossing with Afghanistan

Pakistan reopened a key border crossing with neighbouring Afghanistan to all types of traffic. 

The Afghan embassy in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, announced the reopening of the Torkham border on Saturday on Twitter.

The Torkham border, which connects Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province to neighbouring Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province, was shut down unilaterally by the 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 Agency 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 authorised 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.

Taliban reopens key trade route between Afghanistan and Pakistan

Defence ministers’ meet

The latest development came three days after Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja Asif met with Afghanistan’s acting Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and acting Defence 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 retook 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 the border crossing for medical and labour purposes.

The two neighbours share a porous border of almost 2,670 kilometres.

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