Tension prevails at Pakistan-Afghanistan border

Trade suffers at Torkham crossing as Afghan officials object to construction of fence and gate on the Pakistani side.

    Hundreds of trucks are clogging the roads leading to the normally bustling Torkham crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan as officials from both countries remain at odds over the construction of a gate on the Pakistani side of the border.

    Three people have died and more than two dozen border guards from both sides have been wounded so far in cross-border shootings.

    Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder, reporting from the Torkham crossing, said Afghanistan insists that the construction of new fence and gate is unacceptable.

    "Pakistan says the new measures are necessary and would also benefit Afghanistan by stopping illegal crossings on the porous border," he said.

    "But the Afghans see this as unacceptable."

    The weekend skirmishes have strained an already tense relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Thousands of vehicles normally pass through the crossing every week, making it a vital trade link between the countries.

    "We're hopeful that the authorities will open the gate very soon as it is affecting people's lives on both sides," Saanad Khan, a lorry driver, told Al Jazeera.

    "Everyone is miserable."

     

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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