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Pakistan reopens key border crossing with Afghanistan after 10 days

September 15, 2023 at 8:55 am

People rest by their trucks carrying goods destined for Afghanistan, as they wait for the opening of the border following clashes between security forces of Pakistan and Afghanistan, in Torkham, Pakistan on September 07, 2023 [Hussain Ali – Anadolu Agency]

Pakistan today reopened a key border crossing with neighbouring Afghanistan for travellers and all types of traffic after ten days of closure, an official said.

The Torkham border, which connects Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province to Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province, was closed on 6 September after skirmishes between border security forces of the two countries.

“Yes, the border has reopened this morning for travellers and transport,” Abdullah Khan, a local Pakistani official at the border, said.

The closure by Islamabad of the Torkham border, one of the two main crossings between Pakistan and Afghanistan, has caused heavy losses to already depreciating trade between the two neighbours, as Torkham is one of the busiest trade routes between Islamabad and Kabul.

According to the Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce, trade between the two countries amounted to $2.5 billion in 2010 but dropped to $1.6 billion before settling at slightly over $1.8 billion in 2022-23.

The latest standoff erupted last week after Taliban guards began constructing a new security post near the Torkham border, which Pakistan considers a violation of mutual agreements.

However, yesterday a senior Pakistani diplomat in Kabul, Obaidul Rehman Nizamani, met with acting Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan and agreed to reopen the border and resolve the issues through diplomatic channels.

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