Torkham Crossing remains closed

Pakistan closes Torkham border shortly after Taliban reopened it

Pakistan has closed Torkham border hours after the Taliban reopened it today following the group shut it for four days blaming Pakistan of breaching its commitments. The group, once again, has asked Afghan people not to travel through the border until further notice.

“The Torkham gate has been closed by the Pakistani side after the Islamic Emirate authorities reopened it,” media office of Taliban governor for Nangarhar province said in a tweet today, asking Afghans to avoid traveling through the border until further notice.

Local Taliban authorities did not mention what was the specific reason for the Pakistan’s closure of the key border crossing.

Pakistani side has not commented regarding the issue either.

Noor Mohammad Hanif, the Taliban’s head of the information and culture department in Nangarhar, had said in a voice message sent to the media that “Torkham has been reopened and the problems of the people stranded on both sides of the border have been resolved.”

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 artillary.

Afghan and Pakistan cross border traders have said they have suffered huge losses as a result of the dispute.

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 reopening of Torkham comes a day after the Pakistani defense minister, Khawaja Mohammad Asif, and the head of the ISI, General Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum, visited Kabul.