Islamabad, Aug 2: Pakistan on Tuesday announced completion of a disputed gate complex along its border with Afghanistan that had led to heightened diplomatic tension with Kabul and a prolonged stand-off between the border forces of the two neighbours. Construction of the ‘Bab-e-Pakistan’ gate complex near Torkham, which began on June 12 this year, has been completed, media reports said.
Construction of the gate complex had been resisted by Afghanistan and led to escalation of tension between the two neighbours — with both sides trading fire, leading to casualties on the border. Pakistan says it has built the gate with the aim to check the to and fro movement of people. One of the gates will be used to enter into Pakistan, while the other will allow people to leave the country.
Earlier, thousands of vehicles used to pass through the crossing freely every week and it was also a vital trade link between the two countries.
Both sides accuse each other of harbouring extremist groups that have launched terror attacks in the other’s territory. Afghanistan, struggling to contain a stubborn insurgency led by Taliban militants, blames Pakistan for harbouring fighters and allied networks on its territory. Pakistan denies it. Pakistan has blamed a number of terror attacks in the country on Afghan tiols who cross the border illegally. The 2,250-km border is also known as the Durand Line because it was demarcated by Sir Mortimer Durand during the British rule in India. Afghanistan’s successive Pashtun-domited governments have long disputed the border demarcations between the two countries.
With the creation of Pakistan, the border has become a point of contention between the two sides. Afghanistan has demanded a re-negotiation of the border, something that is rejected by Pakistan. (IANS)