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Torkham Border Standoff Sparks Humanitarian Crisis

Among those affected is Wahidullah from Afghanistan, who has been stranded at the Torkham border for the past two days with the body of his deceased child.

by TNN Editor - 08 Sep, 2023 1517
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The Pak-Afghan Torkham border remains completely closed for foot traffic and all forms of commercial activities for the third consecutive day following a firing incident. This situation has led to immense difficulties for passengers, individuals in need of medical attention, and transporters on both sides of the border.

Among those affected is Wahidullah from Afghanistan, who has been stranded at the Torkham border for the past two days with the body of his deceased child. Despite possessing all the necessary legal documents, border authorities have not permitted the transfer of the child's body to Afghanistan. There are concerns that the body may decompose due to the heat.

Local sources report that hundreds of people, including those who are ill, have been waiting at the border for days, hoping for the reopening of the crossing to facilitate their transportation and access to medical care.

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Transporter sources reveal that after the clash between border forces, authorities have redirected freight vehicles destined for Afghanistan from Torkham to Landi Kotal due to security worries. This redirection has resulted in damage to the cargo in dozens of vehicles, potentially causing substantial financial losses for transporters.

Official sources indicate that there has been no progress or negotiations regarding the reopening of the Torkham border for foot traffic and commercial activities. However, individuals from both countries, transporters, businessmen, and various other groups have called upon the top authorities of both nations to resolve all issues through peaceful negotiations. This approach would prevent losses for people on both sides and contribute to the establishment of peace.

It's worth noting that a recent exchange of fire occurred between border forces on the Pak-Afghan Torkham border, resulting in two fatalities, including an Afghan driver and an official. According to officials, Afghan forces sought to construct a checkpoint on the border, a move opposed by Pakistani forces. This disagreement led to a heavy exchange of gunfire between the two forces, prompting the closure of the Torkham border for all commercial activities and traffic by authorities.