Afghan and Pakistani traders complain of losses as Torkham crossing remains closed

Taliban officials in Nangarhar province say that the Torkham border crossing is still closed to the movement of people and goods and efforts to reopen it are ongoing.

According to a newsletter sent to the media on Friday, by the Taliban’s Information and Culture Directorate in Nangarhar, a high-level delegation led by the group’s Minister of Borders and Tribal Affairs and former Guantanamo Bay detainee, Noorullah Noori, is in talks with Pakistani officials at the Torkham border crossing.

The Torkham crossing was closed on Sunday by the Taliban, who claimed that Pakistan had breached their commitments, although no specific details were provided. On Monday, the two sides exchanged fires, including using heavy artillery, killing at least one Taliban member.

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Afghan and Pakistani traders have complained of financial losses as hundreds of goods vehicles have been stranded on either side.

Zia-ul-Haq Sarhadi, director of the Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told Reuters on Tuesday that “The closure of the border crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan has been causing losses to traders of the two countries. There are long queues of heavy trucks stranded on both sides of the border.” 

The Nangarhar Chamber of Commerce and Investment has said that Afghan traders had suffered millions of Afghanis in losses.