On Friday, Torkham border, a crossing between Afghanistan and Pakistan, which had been closed for nine days due to clashes between border guards on both sides, was reopened, according to a senior Pakistani official who spoke to Reuters.
The closure of the Torkham border crossing, situated at the western end of the renowned Khyber Pass, had left thousands of travelers and hundreds of trucks loaded with goods stranded last week.
Abdul Nasir Khan, the Deputy Commissioner of Pakistan’s Khyber district, confirmed to Reuters that the border is now open for both pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
A security official in Torkham stated that discussions between the two parties had successfully resolved the issue that triggered the clashes. Spokespeople for Pakistan’s foreign ministry and Afghan authorities in Nangarhar province also confirmed the reopening of the border.
This road is crucial for landlocked Afghanistan, as it connects the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar to Jalalabad, the main city in Nangarhar, and serves as a route to the capital, Kabul.
Ziaul Haq Sarhadi, the director of the Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry, highlighted the substantial losses incurred by traders and ordinary citizens of both neighboring countries during the border closure.
According to a statement from Afghanistan’s foreign ministry, Pakistan’s top diplomat in Kabul had a meeting with Amir Khan Muttaqi, the foreign minister of the Taliban administration, to discuss the reopening.
Regarding the clashes at Torkham, Pakistan asserted that the Taliban administration had attempted to encroach on its territory by constructing an “unlawful structure” and accused Afghan forces of engaging in “indiscriminate firing.” In contrast, the Taliban’s foreign ministry criticized the border closure and claimed that Pakistan security forces had fired upon its border guards while they were repairing an old security outpost.
Relations between these neighboring countries have often been tense, primarily due to border disputes and Pakistan’s allegations that militants launch attacks within its territory from bases in Afghanistan, which Afghan authorities deny.