The Taliban officials on Sunday evening closed Torkham, one of the main trading and border crossing routes with Pakistan accusing Islamabad breaching of commitments.
Taliban officials for Torkham have said the crossing point had been closed down for trade and travel.
Mawlavi Mohammad Siddiq, Taliban commission at Torkham said that Pakistan has not abided by its commitments, so the crossing point has been shut down. He has advised the people of Afghanistan to avoid traveling to the border crossing in eastern Nangarhar province until further notice.
“Pakistan has breached its commitments, therefor the Taliban have close the gateway,” Siddiq said.
Meanwhile, Siddiq says that negotiations are ongoing with the Pakistani side about the reopening of the crossing point, and updates will be shared with the public at the earliest.
Torkham is one of the key gateways for trade transit and passengers between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Pakistan also uses Torkham to transfer its commercial goods to Central Asia.
Although Taliban officials did not specify the commitment Islamabad allegedly breached, some unofficial reports emerged that the Taliban were annoyed by an unannounced ban on the travel of Afghan patients seeking treatment in Pakistan.
Pakistan had closed the Torkham border crossing to Afghan patients, causing difficulties for people trying to enter the country for medical treatment on February 18, without providing any clear reasons.
As per the agreement between Islamabad and the Afghan Taliban, some 100 patients were allowed to enter the country on condition they had approval from the Taliban’s provincial health directorate of Nangarhar per day.
The closure of the Torkham crossing has been an unsolved issue between the two neighbors. Over the past twenty years, the gateway has been shut down for traffic and passengers once by Afghanistan and mostly by Pakistan for unknown reasons.