Torkham border re-opens after skirmishes between Afghanistan-Pakistan

18 Jun 2016 | Written by Mansi Motwani; Edited by Gaurav

Six days of border conflict eventually concluded in the re-opening of the Torkham crossing.

The re-opening of the crossing followed talks between Islamabad and Kabul.

Officials were focusing on not letting the conflict affect the flow of trade along the border.

Pakistan security forces have greeted the consensus over the issue by forwarding pleasantries including dates and mangoes to Afghan troops.

In context: The disputed Afghan-Pakistan Border

Background Durand Line

The 2,340-kilometre long international border between Afghanistan and Pakistan is known as the Durand Line.

It was established in 1893 between Sir Mortimer Durand, a British diplomat and civil servant of British India, and Abdur Rahman Khan, the Afghan Amir to improve diplomatic relations and trade.

The Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1919 modified the line and it came within the territory of Pakistan.

Afghanistan votes against Pakistan joining the UN

Hostilities existed between Afghanistan and the newborn Pakistan since 1947, when Afghanistan became the only country to vote against the admission of Pakistan to the United Nations.
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13 Jun 2016Pakistan's plan to build a barrier angers Afghanistan

"Unprovoked firing" initiated by the Afghans took place on 13th June, 2016 to disturb the development of a gate being built 37 metres within Pakistani territory.

Pakistani Army Major Ali Jawad Changezi was injured during the firing. He died the next day.

Four others were killed amongst whom two were Afghan soldiers; more than ten were left injured.

Firing GroundThe Torkham border-crossing

Located along the international border, Torkham is one of the major border crossings between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

It is the busiest port of entry between the two countries, serving as a major transporting, shipping, and receiving site.

Lying 5-kilometres west of the Khyber Pass summit, Torkham lies on the most important supply route for US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan.

18 Jun 2016Torkham border re-opens after skirmishes between Afghanistan-Pakistan

Peace TalksPeace process helps open up pass

On 14th June, 2016, Afghanistan summoned the Pakistani ambassador and expressed its protest over violence.

Similarly, the Afghan charge d'affaires was summoned by Pakistan in Islamabad on Monday.

After diplomatic and military contacts, both the countries agreed over ceasefire on 15th June, 2016.

Yet there existed disputed claims about the conditions on which the hostilities were to end.

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Army Major Ali Jawad Changezi

According to security sources, the construction of the gate continued. Officials claimed that this gate was being built to stop militants from crossing over to Pakistan. The gate at Torkham will be named after Pakistan Army Major Ali Jawad Changezi, who died in the Afghan firing.

19 Jun 2016Afghan Dy Foreign Min to visit Pak

Afghanistan's Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai would pay a visit to Islamabad in an effort to reduce the ongoing tensions between the two countries.

Both sides declared a ceasefire and reopened the border crossing; however, they have also positioned tanks and troops along the border.

Pakistan Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz had invited Afghanistan's National Security Advisor and Foreign Minister for peace talks.

21 Jun 2016Pakistan, Afghanistan hold talks on border clashes

Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai and a delegation arrived in Islamabad to hold talks with Pakistan on their border clashes.

A statement released after the meeting stated both countries gave importance to the need to create a system to consult each other on border issues.

Two Afghan guards and one Pakistani officer were killed in the clashes that took place last week.

03 Jan 2017Pakistanis without visas barred from entering Afghanistan

Pakistani nationals without proper visas are henceforth barred from entering Afghanistan; the move comes after Pakistan introduced stringent border controls with Afghanistan, "to prevent the influx of militants."

The border controls severely impacted tribal communities who had families on both sides, and significantly reduced cross-border trade.

The new order of requiring passports and visas has come into effect from January 1, 2017.

07 Mar 2017Pak army repels infiltration bid across Afgan border

Pakistani troops repelled attacks by terrorists from the disputed Afghanistan-Pakistan border, killing ten terrorists. However, 5 Pakistani soldiers were killed as well.

Pakistan's military released a statement saying "Effective presence, vigilance and response repulsed terrorists' attempt." Army chief general Qamar Javed Bajwa lauded the army's efforts.

The terrorists launched simultaneous attacks on almost 10 border posts manned by Pakistani soldiers.