The Torkham border between Pakistan and Afghanistan was opened for all traffic on Friday after a 10-day closure due to clashes between border forces.
After the restoration of traffic at the border, hundreds of travelers are heading to its immigration section to enter Afghanistan, pedestrian traffic has begun.
“The clearance process of the trucks is going on and Afghan nationals are entering Afghanistan after going through the clearance and immigration process,” Irshad Khan Mohammad, assistant commissioner of Pakistan’s Khyber district, told AFP.
The Torkham border between Pakistan and Afghanistan was closed on September 6 following a clash between security forces of the two countries in which a Frontier Corps soldier was injured.
The dispute arose over the “illegal construction” of a bunker on the Pakistani side of the border by the interim Afghan government.
The FO said on September 11 that Islamabad cannot accept the construction of any structures by the interim Afghan government within its territory as they violate its sovereignty.
The crossing is the busiest for trade and people between the two countries, with a 2,600-km (1,600-mi) unguarded border that runs through rugged mountains and valleys.
Traders on both sides complained that tons of perishable goods were lost due to border closures, while Afghan travelers missed important hospital appointments or flights out of Pakistan.
A day earlier, a customs official on condition of anonymity told Geo News that the border is likely to reopen today (Friday).
“Torkham border will be opened for trade from tomorrow,” the official said, adding that import and export crossings, including transit vehicles, would be restored from Friday.
This decision was taken after Afghanistan’s Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi met with the head of the Pakistani mission in Kabul Obaidur Rehman Nizamani.
In the meeting, Afghan officials assured Pakistan that Afghan soil will not be used against Pakistan. Sources familiar with the decision said that the decision to reopen the border was taken after this meeting.
An official on duty at the Torkham border told The News on condition of anonymity that the Pakistani authorities had requested the Afghan side to stop the construction, citing violation of international law.
However, the Afghan authorities did not listen to this request. As a result, the border was closed due to increased tensions arising from this construction dispute.
‘Mortar shells were fired’
Speaking about the attack before the border was closed, a duty official at the border said that several mortar shells were fired by the Afghan side, which fell on the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Customs and other government workplaces. .
A mortar shell also hit a mosque on the Pakistani side of the border, while another shell fell in the border village of Bacha Meena, the official added. However, there was no loss of life from them.
He added that the firing started at 2 pm and continued for about three hours as a result of which FC Sepoy Maqsood sustained bullet injuries and was taken to the hospital.
In the midst of this border conflict, a significant number of people were found stranded on both sides of the border. They included passengers, patients, women and children and trucks, some of which were loaded with goods.
Due to this situation, hundreds of government and private offices were closed as a precautionary measure.