More troops deployed along Torkham as Pak-Afghan tensions escalates

Afghan border policemen take their positions on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan in Goshta district of Jalalabad province east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, May 9, 2013. Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday warned Pakistan against trying to force Afghanistan to accept as an international border the Durand line which separates the two countries. Border tensions between the two countries have escalated dramatically in the last two weeks with both sides accusing the other of unprovoked attacks. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

KABUL: More troops and military equipment have been deployed along the two sides of Torkham as tensions have escalated between Afghanistan and Pakistan over fencing attempt by Pakistani border guards.

The additional forces were deployed on Thursday, two days after the gate remained close for the second consecutive day.

According to the local media reports in Pakistan, the additional forces were deployed after negotiations failed between the Afghan and Pakistani officials regarding the issue.

Pakistan sent army troops and additional Khasadar Force and Frontier Corps personnel on the border on Thursday in retaliation to Afghanistan’s reinforcement of its troops and border security forces along the border, the reports added.

The gate was closed by the Pakistani forces on Tuesday when Afghan border security officials stopped Pakistani security forces from installing barbed wire along the border.

Officials in Pakistan quoted in local media reports have said the move was part of the National Action Plan, which was decided by border security management.

The closure of the gate has resulted to hundreds of vehicles being stranded on the two sides as well as thousands of people who have taken shelter in the nearby accommodations.

This comes as the Afghan and Pakistani border forces have already engaged in a number of clashes along the Durand Line, mainly due to military installations establishment, violating the zero point between the two countries.

The Afghan and Pakistani border forces exchanged fire in Goshta district of Nangarhar province late last month with the local officials saying the Pakistani forces started shelling the Afghan border posts.

A similar incident took place in Goshta district earlier in the month of March following Pakistani militia forces attack in Anarki area of Goshta district. -KP

THE PASHTUN TIMES

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