Written by admin on Saturday, September 21st, 2019

Selected by Olivier Immig & Jan van Heugten

Afghan Officials Cause Stir at Torkham Crossing Ceremony
Saturday, September 21, 2019

*Torkham is on the Durand Line, which Pakistan claims as its border and Afghanistan does not
* Ghani And Pakistan PM Discuss Peace Talks, Election
* Pakistan Would Not Use Nuclear Weapons First: Khan

The opening ceremony of the 24-hour crossing at Torkham was held on Wednesday, with Prime Minister Imran Khan and a number of Afghan government officials, including Nangarhar governor Shah Mahmoud Miakhail and acting Minister of Public Works Yama Yari, in attendance.

The presence of Afghan officials at the 24-hour Torkham Crossing ceremony has caused a controversy, because Torkham is on the Durand Line, which Pakistan claims as its border and Afghanistan does not.

Former national security chief and presidential candidate Rahmatullah Nabil says he has information that President Ghani has recognized the Durand Line as a border between Afghanistan and Pakistan for his own personal interests.

Nabil says that based on his information Pakistan has been pulling the fence inside Afghanistan up to 20 km and has distributed Pakistani ID cards in those areas.

“Such deals are always about gaining power. History has proven this. I think that’s the president’s reason,” Nabil said.

“”If the president really stands against Pakistan’s interference, then the President at least must issue a statement in this regard,” Nabil added.

In Pakistani history, this is the first time Torkham has been mentioned as a border between the two countries in the presence of Afghan government officials.

This action has provoked a heated reaction from former President Hamid Karzai.

“This means that Afghanistan is not free,” Karzai said.

The presence of Afghan government officials at the ceremony has caused reactions from political analysts as well.

“The opening of the crossing ahead of the presidential election, and asking for Imran Khan’s cooperation, means that the president wants to regain power with the cooperation of Pakistan,” said Faiz Mohammad Zaland, a political analyst.

The Afghan government, however, says that only the Afghan people can decide on the Durand Line.

The Durand Line is a disputed area between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and no government official has so far decided on it.


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