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Tajikistan closes border points with Afghanistan: Afghan foreign ministry has to negotiate, resolve the issue on war-footed basis

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Tajikistan—the neighboring country, has closed its crossing-points with Afghanistan bordering Kunduz, Takhar and Badakhshan provinces, it has been reported. But, it remained open for bilateral trade activities and foreigners.

Kunduz, Takhar and Badakhshan provinces have 1206km long border with Tajikistan, and the Shir Khan Bandar connects Kunduz with Tajikistan and other Central Asian states. It’s an important crossing for the freight coming from China through Dushanbe into Kabul.

According to local authorities, Tajikistan has been closed its border crossing points with Afghanistan for the last four days, and did not let Afghans to travel to any part of the country.

“We are being unaware of valid reasons behind closure of the crossing-points by the Tajik authorities, but the issue has been referred to Afghanistan’s Foreign Ministry and UNAMA office in the province to negotiate and resolve the issue,” spokesman of provincial governor of Kunduz province told Azadi Radio.

In the meantime, president of trade union in Shir Khan Bandar, Sayed Mujtaba Hashmi told Azadi Radio that there have been no hurdles to bilateral trade activities, adding the crossing-points were closed for ordinary Afghans amid to prevent their entry to Tajikistan territory, even with valid and legal documents that has created a lot of problems for the Afghan visitors.

Moreover, some members from the provincial council of Kunduz, have said the main reason behind closing the crossing-points was killing of a Tajik border police official at the hands of drug smugglers.

“Based on information, Tajikistan’s border police force official along with two personnel was shot dead at least 50km inside Tajikistan’s territory, bordering Takhar province,” provincial council member Ghulam Rabbani Rabbani told Azadi Radio. However, security forces in Takhar province have not yet commented into the issue.

Takhar province has connected to Tajikistan through Ai Khanoum—an international border crossing with customs and immigration checkpoints on both sides.

Deputy to Takhar’s provincial governor, Ahmad Fareed Zaki told Azadi Radio the border crossing points have been closed for unknown reasons.

However, he confirmed that the border was opened for foreigners and bilateral trade activities.

In addition to that, the spokesperson of the provincial governor for Badakhshan province told Azadi radio the Tajik authorities have been closed its border with Afghanistan in Badakhshan for the last 15 days, adding the Afghan officials have put all efforts on cards to reopen it soon.

Business community in Kunduz has urged the foreign ministry to table the issue with Tajikistan officials and resolve the issue as soon as possible.

It is worth mentioning that Tajikistan closed it’s conciliate in Kunduz province for the past two years, amid insecurity. In such situations, the foreign ministry has to play its role by negotiating and resolving the issue with Tajikistan. Kabul and Dushanbe should take required measures to prevent any mishap in future, and both the countries must have to gear up efforts and crackdown against drug smugglers and terrorists in a bid not to let those elements that creating rifts between the two brotherly neighboring countries.

Moreover, some terror sponsor states and our hostile neighborhood might be involved in terrorist and destructive activities, aimed severing our bilateral relationship and partnership. So, the leadership and border management institutions of both countries must be vigilant.

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