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Torkham border crossing closed for 2nd day after clashes between border forces

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Torkham border crossing closed for 2nd day after clashes between border forces

Reuters
September 7, 2023

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The Torkham border crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan was closed for a second day on Thursday, leading to a build-up of trucks laden with goods, after clashes between security forces from the two countries.

The busy border crossing had closed on Wednesday after Pakistani and Afghan Taliban forces started firing at each other, according to local officials.

Officials in Pakistan had blamed the other side for starting the midday firefight, which lasted for around two hours and came after the Afghan authorities started building a checkpoint on their side in a prohibited area, close to the main border crossing.

The officials said the Afghan authorities already had a checkpoint in the vicinity, commonly known as the Larram Post, but they started building another post over a small hill without discussing it with the Pakistani side.

They said border security officials had also held a meeting minutes before the crossfire began. However, it could not be ascertained what the meeting’s agenda was and what prompted both countries’ border forces to open fire.

Apart from the FC official, a Customs clearing agent had also been critically injured when he was hit by a speeding vehicle pulling back to safety after the firing started.

Abdul Basir Zabuli, a spokesman for the Taliban-led police in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province, where the crossing lies, said today that authorities from both countries were trying to determine the reason for the clash.

Flow of trade disrupted​

The Torkham border point is the main point of transit for travellers and goods between Pakistan and landlocked Afghanistan.

Ziaul Haq Sarhadi, director of the Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said hundreds of trucks laden with fruit, vegetables and other goods were stuck due to the closure.

“The traders are suffering heavy losses after the border in Torkham was closed on Wednesday following a firing incident there,” he told Reuters.

The entire flow of trade had been affected and the loading of goods in the southern port of Karachi had been disrupted.

Disputes linked to the 2,600-kilometre border have been a bone of contention between the neighbours for decades.

Blame game​

Jamshed Khan, a Customs agent at Torkham, had told Dawn on Wednesday that everyone near the Torkham border crossing immediately vacated their workplaces and ran for cover when the firing started.

He said that it was not clear which side initiated the firing. “First, we heard the sound of firing from small weapons and then heavy weapons were also used from both sides,” he said, adding that the incident caused panic among clearing agents, transporters and ordinary people, with drivers of loaded and empty vehicles trying to flee the troubled spot.

Sabir Khan, a resident of the Bacha Maina residential compound near the border, had told Dawn that people had sent their families to safer locations in Landi Kotal when some projectiles fired from the Afghan side landed inside some homes. He said the projectiles left minor marks on some houses, but no one was injured.

Irshad Mohmand, a local administration official in Pakistan, told AFP that Afghan forces tried to establish a checkpoint in an area where it was agreed that both sides would not establish a post.

“After an objection from the Pakistan side, the Afghan forces opened fire,” he said, adding that Pakistan border forces responded with “retaliatory fire”.

However, the Afghan Taliban government had blamed Pakistan.

“Pakistani forces attacked the Afghan side when Afghan forces wanted to reactivate their old outpost with an excavator,” said Quraishi Badloon, an official for the information and culture directorate in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province.

“The attack has resulted in casualties, but the exact figures are not known yet,” he said.

However, a Taliban government interior ministry spokesman, Abdul Mateen Qani, had said on Wednesday that efforts were being made “to prevent the causes of this clash and the recurrence of such incidents,” AFP reported.

A local Pakistan police official told the news agency that the shooting stopped by late Wednesday afternoon, but the border remained shut, he said. “The atmosphere is tense” and “forces on both sides are alert”, he said.

Another local government official said light and heavy weapons, as well as mortars, were used in the incident.

The crossing has been closed several times in recent years, including a closure in February that saw thousands of trucks laden with goods stranded on each side of the border for days.

It was also temporarily closed last month after a scuffle between the border guards of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Both nations are in dire economic straits, with Afghanistan reeling from a drop-off in aid following the end of the US-backed occupation and Pakistan crippled by a domestic downturn and runaway inflation.


 
Keep it closed

Nothing good comes from the afghans EVER

They are a useless violent kaum and unless they can change and reign in their stupidity and backwardness and deshatgardi what's the point of trading and open borders?

Just aim to make the borders stronger over time
More forts, stronger fencing, mines

We have given the afghans every chance to act like insaan and they repeatedly fail
 
@Mirzali Khan

Do you think if a separate Khorosan was ever established for the farsiwan ethnicities like Tajiks, etc - the remaining Pashtuns would agree to become a province of Pakistan like western Pakhtunkwa.

OTzcNswKlklZMku-1600x900-noPad.jpg


Like this but the remaining Afghanistan becomes western Pakhtunkwa - Baloch area can join Balochistan.
 
@Mirzali Khan

Do you think if a separate Khorosan was ever established for the farsiwan ethnicities like Tajiks, etc - the remaining Pashtuns would agree to become a province of Pakistan like western Pakhtunkwa.

View attachment 951724

Like this but the remaining Afghanistan becomes western Pakhtunkwa - Baloch area can join Balochistan.

Nah bro they'll never agree to that. Today a lot of them see Afghanistan as "land gifted/given to them by Allah (SWT)", and Pakistan as the "Israel of South Asia." The only time that kind of roadmap was possible was the end of the second civil was in 1997, when Taliban didn't have control of the Northwest and rest of the Northern parts and there was less hostility between the countries during that era.

Now Taliban has the entire country under their reign. From Badakhshan to Balkh to Herat.

From my reading of history, it seems that the Taliban are repeating the policies of King Abdur Rahman. I am seeing a lot of news about westward expansion and shifting of Pashtuns towards the Northern Areas and a diversion of traditional nomad kochiyan routes from being less dependent on Pakistan and having to go through Pakistan to more up north and giving them land there. King Abdur Rahman did this policy in the past.

I am also seeing instances being reported where Shariah is being prioritized rather than Pashtunwali. Here is an example. The Iron Amir did lean towards Shariah tribunals rather than traditional jirgas on Pashtunwali.

Considering there is 0 insurgencies in the Northern Areas, and other groups like the NRF folded, the Talibs in ARG have decided on the policy of consolidating their control and minimizing any attempt of an insurgency. In addition, despite not being recognized, their work on the economic and development front is commendable.

Afghanistan is doing a trifecta: consolidating the North, start up the development end (like any normal country), and leverage TTP and ex-FATA against Pakistan.

As Afghanistan starts to be more developed and gain more economic stability, the other 2 policies are only going to strengthen.

The question in the end will be: Will Faujeets see the writing on the wall??
 
Nah bro they'll never agree to that. Today a lot of them see Afghanistan as "land gifted/given to them by Allah (SWT)", and Pakistan as the "Israel of South Asia." The only time that kind of roadmap was possible was the end of the second civil was in 1997, when Taliban didn't have control of the Northwest and rest of the Northern parts and there was less hostility between the countries during that era.

Now Taliban has the entire country under their reign. From Badakhshan to Balkh to Herat.

From my reading of history, it seems that the Taliban are repeating the policies of King Abdur Rahman. I am seeing a lot of news about westward expansion and shifting of Pashtuns towards the Northern Areas and a diversion of traditional nomad kochiyan routes from being less dependent on Pakistan and having to go through Pakistan to more up north and giving them land there. King Abdur Rahman did this policy in the past.

I am also seeing instances being reported where Shariah is being prioritized rather than Pashtunwali. Here is an example. The Iron Amir did lean towards Shariah tribunals rather than traditional jirgas on Pashtunwali.

Considering there is 0 insurgencies in the Northern Areas, and other groups like the NRF folded, the Talibs in ARG have decided on the policy of consolidating their control and minimizing any attempt of an insurgency. In addition, despite not being recognized, their work on the economic and development front is commendable.

Afghanistan is doing a trifecta: consolidating the North, start up the development end (like any normal country), and leverage TTP and ex-FATA against Pakistan.

As Afghanistan starts to be more developed and gain more economic stability, the other 2 policies are only going to strengthen.

The question in the end will be: Will Faujeets see the writing on the wall??
What I don't understand is, why is there literally zero resistance from Tajiks against essentially settler colonialism?

I've not seen even a single video
 
Still Imran Khan has love with TTP? and afghanis who provide sheltar and ammunition to TTP?? Imran Khan is soft hearted towards Taliban and afghans , and still don't learn lesson.
One of failure of Imran Khan policy about brotherhood with terrorists and it cost lot. President arif alvi forgave 200 terrorists prisoners during Imran Khan government. It was biggest mistake
 
Still Imran Khan has love with TTP? and afghanis who provide sheltar and ammunition to TTP?? Imran Khan is soft hearted towards Taliban and afghans , and still don't learn lesson.
One of failure of Imran Khan policy about brotherhood with terrorists and it cost lot. President arif alvi forgave 200 terrorists prisoners during Imran Khan government. It was biggest mistake
All political parties and army are complicit and don't do shit.

At the very least they should be supporting a Tajik insurgency or doing something in retaliation.

Instead they've made themselves sitting ducks acting like btches.
 
What I don't understand is, why is there literally zero resistance from Tajiks against essentially settler colonialism?

I've not seen even a single video

During history there have been multiple revolts.

Habibullah Kalakaani led a revolt against King Amanullah in 1920s civil war.

Ahmed Shah Massoud led an uprising against Daud Khan and was supported by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto at that time. Faujeets later stabbed him in the back and started supporting others over him, making him seek help from India.

Also another thing you have to realize is that Tajiks are as religious as Pashtuns are. Tajiks and Uzbeks in Afghanistan are very very different than their ethnic kin in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Due to Soviet influence many Uzbeks and Tajiks are secular and have Soviet influences in their culture. Tajiks in Tajikistan write Farsi in Cyrillic. This is changing rapidly today a lot of people in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are being on the deen.

Many Tajiks led Islamist movements against the Communists. Burhanuddin Rabbani led one of the early protests and groundwork and he later became president of Afghanistan from 1992-1996.

Taliban using Shariah in courts and having a broader pan-Afghan messaging shows they are actively trying to court the minority population who are religious.
 
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Nah bro they'll never agree to that. Today a lot of them see Afghanistan as "land gifted/given to them by Allah (SWT)", and Pakistan as the "Israel of South Asia." The only time that kind of roadmap was possible was the end of the second civil was in 1997, when Taliban didn't have control of the Northwest and rest of the Northern parts and there was less hostility between the countries during that era.

Now Taliban has the entire country under their reign. From Badakhshan to Balkh to Herat.

From my reading of history, it seems that the Taliban are repeating the policies of King Abdur Rahman. I am seeing a lot of news about westward expansion and shifting of Pashtuns towards the Northern Areas and a diversion of traditional nomad kochiyan routes from being less dependent on Pakistan and having to go through Pakistan to more up north and giving them land there. King Abdur Rahman did this policy in the past.

I am also seeing instances being reported where Shariah is being prioritized rather than Pashtunwali. Here is an example. The Iron Amir did lean towards Shariah tribunals rather than traditional jirgas on Pashtunwali.

Considering there is 0 insurgencies in the Northern Areas, and other groups like the NRF folded, the Talibs in ARG have decided on the policy of consolidating their control and minimizing any attempt of an insurgency. In addition, despite not being recognized, their work on the economic and development front is commendable.

Afghanistan is doing a trifecta: consolidating the North, start up the development end (like any normal country), and leverage TTP and ex-FATA against Pakistan.

As Afghanistan starts to be more developed and gain more economic stability, the other 2 policies are only going to strengthen.

The question in the end will be: Will Faujeets see the writing on the wall??

Some of this is true, however, I don't see much success for Afghanistan as it has a history of shooting its own foot.

Attempting to take over Pakistani villages and infiltrating terrorists, killing Shias and diverting Iranian and Turkmen waters illegally to create canals on its side will only unite other countries against Afghanistan and being a landlocked country as it is is a huge weakness. Afghanistan will never get to unlock its economic potential unless it realizes it has more to lose if they play with fire. Migrating to the north or west is irrelevant. Fact is they are still in that space where they can't connect with the world without the approval and support of neighbouring countries and now that anti-smuggling campaign has started to gain traction that's even more bad news for them.
 
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Taliban using Shariah in courts and having a broader pan-Afghan messaging shows they are actively trying to court the minority population who are religious.
Are you saying the majority of Pakistanis are not religious? Then why is Pakistan an Islamic state?
 
I don't see much success for Afghanistan as it has a history of shooting its own foot.

True.

Attempting to take over Pakistani villages and infiltrating terrorists, killing Shias and diverting Iranian and Turkmen waters illegally to create canals on its side will only unite other countries against Afghanistan and being a landlocked country as it is is a huge weakness.

Also true, but to note the canal hasn't been met with any fierce resistance from Central Asian countries.

Afghanistan will never get to unlock its economic potential unless it realizes it has more to lose if they play with fire.

I consider the leadership in ARG to be much more smarter than whatever we have going on right now. So far they are testing the waters. Something people don't realize is that this is currently a lull period. There is relative peace now. Only ISKP IS causing trouble.

Migrating to the north or west is irrelevant.

No its not irrelevant. They are consolidating their power there and minimizing chances of a heavy insurgency.

Fact is they are still in that space where they can't connect with the world without the approval and support of neighbouring countries and now that anti-smuggling campaign has started to gain traction that's even more bad news for them.

Army is the most heavily involved in smuggling. There will never be an end to smuggling to Afghanistan and Irani Balochistan the until you neutralize faujeet hands in that.

I am surprised it is unrecognized for 2 years now. But some of the development projects they are doing display a positive trajectory despite all the problems and issues Afghanistan faces right now.
 
Afghans survive on smugling, hit that and they will feel the pain without going for kinetic measures!.... The transit trade agreement done with Afghanistan was wrong, most of the items that comes from afghanistan or to afghanistan( later they come back in the name of transit trade) is just a big scheme to bypass customs and Pakistan suffers in billions of dollars. Scrap the transit agreement and check everything that comes and tax it!
 
@Mirzali Khan

Do you think if a separate Khorosan was ever established for the farsiwan ethnicities like Tajiks, etc - the remaining Pashtuns would agree to become a province of Pakistan like western Pakhtunkwa.

View attachment 951724

Like this but the remaining Afghanistan becomes western Pakhtunkwa - Baloch area can join Balochistan.
May be but it depends on how the deal is structured. If it is structured so that Pakistan will be ruled by Taliban, they should have no objection to annexing new lands. As a bonus, Pakistanis will get rid of the rule by the military and will get a semblance of Islamic rule that many desire. Whatever maybe one's quarrels with Taliban, one thing for certain is they seem to have less infighting the past two years. Without all the internal divisions and the military sent to barracks, who knows, there might even be some development. Another thing is, TTP problem may automatically go away. if Afghan Taliban is ruling the new union, where is the need for TTP to fight?
 
May be but it depends on how the deal is structured. If it is structured so that Pakistan will be ruled by Taliban, they should have no objection to annexing new lands. As a bonus, Pakistanis will get rid of the rule by the military and will get a semblance of Islamic rule that many desire. Whatever maybe one's quarrels with Taliban, one thing for certain is they seem to have less infighting the past two years. Without all the internal divisions and the military sent to barracks, who knows, there might even be some development. Another thing is, TTP problem may automatically go away. if Afghan Taliban is ruling the new union, where is the need for TTP to fight?
Taliban are just thinly veiled Afghan nationalists and chauvinists, giving authoritarian level of power to them is like handing over the keys to your house to a well-known robber. If you get the point to my analogy.

Expect significantly high demographic changes if this was to happen, whole of Balochistan, Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore would get filled with imported Pashtuns that likely treat others like shit, causing internal issues.
 
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