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No end to border spats between Taliban and Pakistan along the Durand Line

In Helmand province, the local Taliban didnt allow Pakistani border guards to carry out border demarcation work at Durand line. (Photo for Representation)

Contrary to the claims made by Islamabad that the fencing dispute on the Durand Line with the Taliban regime has been resolved, there has been no end to tensions along the disputed border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

On Thursday, the Pakistani soldiers again started fencing  Durand line  in the Chahar Borjak District of Nimroz province in  Western Afghanistan. According to veteran Afghan journalist Bilal Sarwary, Taliban authorities immediately sent their fighters to the border to confront the Pakistani soldiers.  Sharing the video clips and pictures, Bilal wrote in his posts on Twitter: “Pakistani forces wanted to do fencing in Chahar Borjak district. Taliban soldiers were dispatched to the area and Pakistani forces fled the area leaving behind equipment. Taliban soldiers were in bigger numbers and were on a state of high alert.”

Watch Video :

Quoting Taliban sources, Afghan journalists say that the Taliban did not allow Pakistani soldiers  to carry out border demarcation work at Durand line. At the meeting,  representatives of the Taliban asked them to withdraw from the border immediately. The similar incident happened in neighbouring province Helmand where Taliban fighters threatened the Pakistani forces of dire consequences.

Watch Video : Taliban fighters threatening Pakistani forces

The defence ministry spokesman of the Taliban government,  Enayatullah Khwarazmi said Taliban forces have been stopping  the Pakistani military from erecting an "illegal" border fence along the border.

Last week, Taliban and Pakistani forces came face-to-face over the border incident, two Taliban officials told Reuters on the condition of anonymity, and the situation was tense. They added that following the incident there was cross border mortar fire from Pakistani territory further north along the frontier into Afghanistan's Kunar province on Wednesday. In retaliation, Taliban  fighters had told Pakistani forces that “if you violate the boundary line, be ready for war with us. We love fighting you more than the Jews. We still have a lot of work to do.”

Also Read : Taliban tears down barbed fence on Durand Line amid growing friction with Pakistan

Kabul has always protested Colonial-era border demarcation. Despite close ties with Pakistan, the border issue remains a contentious issue for the Taliban. Since coming to power in August, the new Taliban regime has been objecting to Pakistan fencing its 2,600-km border that it shares with Afghanistan and had clearly said that it does not recognise the Durand Line. In response Pakistan threatened to stop transit of Afghans across the Durand Line if the Taliban government objected to the fencing along the Durand Line. In a recent meeting with the Taliban leaders, Pakistan told them  that the line separating the two countries, also called Durand Line, is the valid international border.

 “Fence is a reality. Nearly 90 percent of it has been installed. Not agreeing with it is not an option,” the Pakistani Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid said. He also blamed the Taliban for sheltering the militants of the banned outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban (Pakistan) who have been damaging and destroying the fencing on the border. Pakistan fears that the Taliban’s reluctance to accept the Durand Line as a border is going to create much more conflict in the coming days.