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Pakistan accuses Taliban of building ‘unlawful’ structure at Afghanistan border

Pakistan has accused the Taliban administration of Afghanistan of building an 'unlawful' structure at the Torkham border crossing

Pakistan claimed on Monday that the Taliban government of Afghanistan had attempted to invade its territory by building an “illegal structure” at the Torkham border crossing and that Afghan soldiers had fired “indiscriminately” during the incident that shut down the key border crossing point last week.

After the military forces of Afghanistan and Pakistan exchanged gunfire on Wednesday, the Torkham border crossing was shut down, leaving thousands of travellers and hundreds of cargo-laden vehicles stranded.

The Taliban government’s foreign ministry denounced the border closure over the weekend and said Pakistani security forces opened fire on its soldiers while they were repairing an ageing guard post close to the border.

Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, the spokeswoman for Pakistan’s foreign ministry, responded by stating that the incident was due to the Taliban-led Afghan government building a structure on Pakistani soil, infringing on Pakistan’s sovereignty.

“On the 6th of September, instead of a peaceful resolution, Afghan troops resorted to indiscriminate firing, targeting Pakistan military posts, damaging the infrastructure at the Torkham Border Terminal, and putting the lives of both Pakistani and Afghan civilians at risk, when they were stopped from erecting such unlawful structures,” the statement added.

The 2,600 km (1,615 mile) boundary has been the source of disputes between the neighbours for many years.

In the statement, Pakistan’s foreign office reaffirmed its long-standing alarm about the uptick in militant assaults and urged the Taliban leadership to stop militants from using its territory to strike other countries.

The Taliban government denies allowing the use of Afghan territory for militancy and asserts that Pakistan’s security is a subject for the Pakistani government to handle internally.