ISLAMABAD: Pakistani officials in the Khyber tribal district said on Wednesday that the Afghan Taliban officials have shut the Torkham gate for all kinds of vehicles.
Officials at Torkham told the media that the Taliban raised objections at the installation of a “Welcome Pakistan” sign board.
Afghan Taliban media in-charge Qureshi Badloon confirmed the closure of the gate.
“Pakistan has once again closed the Torkham gate for vehicles,” Badloon posted in a media WhatsApp group.
The Taliban official did not explain as to why the gate was closed. Pakistani officials said they were installing the signboard at Zero Point and the Afghan security forces stopped Pakistani forces from erecting the signboard.
“Import, export and transit trade have been suspended,” officials said.
This is the second time in nearly three months that the Torkham, the major route between the two countries, have been closed.
Officials had closed the Torkham border checkpoint between Afghanistan and Pakistan as of Sept. 6 due to an exchange of gunfire between Afghan and Pakistani forces.
Also on Sept 6, hundreds of the outlawed Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan members attacked check posts in the Pakistani Chitral district, bordering Afghanistan.
Pakistan security officials had stated that they had shared information about the TTP movement in Kunar and Nuristan provinces ahead of the Chitral attack.
Afghan border official Maulvi Asmatuulah Yaqoob told official Bakhtar News Agency that “Pakistan has closed the Torkham gate for transit trade.” He said, “Pakistan wanted to build a gate 20 meters inside the Afghan side under the excuse of installation of a sign board but the Afghan side stopped it.”
Yaqoob said that the Afghan side is ready to hold talks with Pakistani officials to solve the issue through negotiations.