KABUL – In the two years since the Taliban took control in Afghanistan, tensions along the country’s borders and clashes have reached a concerning level, as Taliban fought at least 50 clashes. The Taliban’s interior ministry spokesman, Abdul Matin Qani, said Sunday that there have been at least 50 skirmishes with Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan in the past two years.
The Taliban was on the brink of conflict with Iran in May after deadly clashes broke out between Afghan and Iranian guards. Both sides accused each other of initiating a deadly shooting in which at least two Iranian and one Taliban guard were killed.
Taliban’s spokesman blamed neighboring countries for provoking retaliatory action from the Taliban forces. This comes amid worries that Pakistan has encroached into Afghanistan territory in southern regions.
The escalation of clashes along the disputed Afghanistan-Pakistan border since the Taliban’s rise to power has been a recurring problem during the past years. A cross-border gunfire last November killed a Pakistani security guard and even sent Pakistan’s minister of state for foreign affairs on an official visit to Kabul. There was also another incident between Taliban soldiers and Pakistani border guards during the same month near Dand Patan in Paktia.
Recent outbreak of insecurity and an escalating terror campaign inside Pakistan by the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan militants have also soured Taliban-Pakistan ties with the latter continuously blaming the Taliban of abetting TTP militants. There have been countless TTP terrorist attacks on Pakistan security since last year when the group pulled out a ceasefire with Islamabad government. On Nov. 30, a suicide bomber from the TTP blew himself up near a police truck in the restive Balochistan Province, killing at least three and injuring 28 others, including 20 security personnel.