Tanks, armoured vehicles deployed as Durand Line hots up
PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): Afghanistan and Pakistan have deployed tanks and armoured personnel carriers along their border at Torkham after failure of talks on the fencing dispute, an official said on Friday.
Pakistan started fencing some vulnerable points along the Durand Line in an attempt to plug illegal and secret border crossings a move that drew strong resistance from Afghan border guards.
“As the border gate remained shut on Thursday, additional army, Khasadar Force and Frontier Corps personnel were moved to the tense frontier,” a Landikotal-based security officer told Pajhwok Afghan News.
The escalatory step was taken to counter Afghanistan’s reinforcement of troops on the border, according to the source, who confirmed Kabul had formally protested to Pakistan in this regard.
On Thursday, officials from the two countries met at the Pakistani side of the border, but the negotiations ended inconclusively. Many travellers and traders remained stranded on both sides of the border.
Sector Commander Brig Qayyum Paracha, Khyber Rifles Commandant Col Tariq Hafeez and Assistant Political Agent Rahimullah Mehsud represented Pakistan while Afghan team included Border Police Commander Zabeehullah and Lt Col Nisar Ahmad.
“Afghan defence and interior ministry officials held talks with a Pakistani delegation to resolve the problem, but the talks ended without (yielding) any result and the border is still closed,” Ambassador Omar Zakhilwal said.
In Islamabad, Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria confirmed the Torkham border crossing had been shut down temporarily due to differences over new border control measures.
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