The Government of Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban have decided to reopen the Torkham Border after discussing negotiations between the two parties. The business community was relieved by the news as the closure had a severe impact on imports and exports. Reportedly, the disputes lead to a loss of Rs270 million for the 6 days the border remained closed.
As the governments allowed the People of Pakistan and Afghanistan to return to their home country, the people stranded on either side of the border were able to resume their normal lives.
Disagreements between the Afghan Taliban and the Pakistani government led to the closure of the Torkham Border. Before the closure, the Taliban believed that the Pakistani government was not letting Afghanis enter Pakistan for medical care which likely led to drastic measures.
On Monday before the border closing, there was a gunfight between the two sides, and reportedly, heavy artillery was used with one member of the Taliban killed during the exchange. This may be one of the reasons why the border was closed. After heavy complaints, discussion, and negotiations from both sides, the border was finally opened.
To negotiate the opening, Defense Minister Khawaja Asif, Director General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt General Nadeem Anjum, and Foreign Secretary Asad Majid went to Afghanistan to meet with Afghan Ambassador Muhammad Sadiq and further discuss the issues about the border and security.
The Torkham Border is a very important trade route between Pakistan and Afghanistan on the Durand Line (Pak-Afghan border). The Durand Line is a long border stretching over 2,640km. The closure of the border heavily disrupted the flow of trade and travel for both Pakistan and Afghanistan. Raw materials, food, and textiles must be continuously transported, but a sudden border closure like this has caused multiple issues.
Pakistan is already currently going through an economic crisis, and this brief closure of the border may lead to an increased cost of goods due to reduced trade volumes and delays. Pakistan’s economy is struggling, and the sudden border closure can lead to a loss of sales, decreased revenues, and reduced profits for businesses.
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