The forces of the two countries exchanged heavy fire on the Torkham border between Pakistan and Afghanistan on Monday morning. The Taliban had closed the Torkham border amid rising tensions between the two neighbors.
Currently, no official statement has come out from either side regarding the casualties in this exchange of fire, nor has the reason been given. However, sources say that all public and private activities within Pakistan’s borders have been suspended.
According to the Reuters news agency, a spokesman for the Taliban police administration in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nangarbar said, “The border is closed, we will give the details later.”
Pakistani army, police and government spokesmen were not immediately available for comment, but two Pakistani security officials in the area confirmed the border had been closed and gunfire had been exchanged, according to Reuters.
Muhammad Ali Shinwari, a resident of Landi Kotal on the Pakistan side, told Reuters the border was closed late Sunday night and the firing began early Monday morning. “When we heard the gunshots in the morning, we were worried and suspected that the soldiers of both countries had started fighting,” he said.
Afghan. Firing towards each other on Pakistan border is a common thing. In the past, due to various reasons, both the countries have closed the Chaman border in southwest Pakistan apart from the Torkham border. Both these border crossings are very important for Afghanistan in terms of trade and travel.
Torkham border closed
Torkham is the only border crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan through which the Pakistani Afghan authorities allow one or two relatives of patients to come to Pakistan for treatment under easy conditions.
Last Friday, Pakistani security officials stationed at the Torkham border decided to ban “unnecessary helpers” with patients coming from Afghanistan, which the Taliban government expressed displeasure at first by banning patients from there to Pakistan. And later in the night the border was completely closed.
A Pakistani police officer, Khalid Khan, confirmed the border closure. On the other hand, Taliban-appointed commissioner in Torkham, Mullah Muhammad Sadiq, said, “Pakistan is not fulfilling its promises, so the border crossing is being closed.” He, however, did not elaborate further. Sadiq advised Afghan citizens not to travel to cross the border until further notice.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said at the Munich Security Conference that the threat of militancy emerging from the soil of Afghanistan can affect the world. On the other hand, the spokesman of the Taliban’s foreign ministry said that Pakistan should raise such issues in mutual meetings instead of public forums.
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