KABUL: The Afghan Taliban criticised the closure of its main border crossing with Pakistan this week after clashes between security forces, saying the halt in trade would see heavy losses for businesses.
The busy Torkham border crossing closed on Wednesday after Pakistani and Afghan Taliban forces started firing at each other, according to local officials.
“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan deems the closure of Torkham gate and opening of fire on Afghan security forces by the Pakistani side contrary to good neighbourliness,” Taliban administration’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement late on Saturday.
The statement said the incident had started after Pakistani security forces fired at Afghan Taliban forces fixing an old security outpost near the border.
Pakistan’s foreign office did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Hundreds of trucks laden with goods have been halted and traders have complained that trade is affected.
“The closure of Torkham gate can adversely affect bilateral and regional trade, and cause trade and financial losses to common mercantile class on both sides,” the statement said, adding many travellers were also stuck on each side of the border.
The Torkham border point is the main point of transit for travellers and goods between Pakistan and landlocked Afghanistan.
Disputes linked to the 2,600 km (1,615 mile) border have been a bone of contention between the neighbours for decades.
Pakistan has been facing issues of its own, and recently saw its army chief vowing to uplift the economy through action on smuggling and tax evasion.