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Taliban minister denies ‘formal border’ with Pakistan, sparks tensions

AT News

KABUL – In a provocative statement, Noorullah Noori, Taliban Minister of Borders and Tribal Affairs, challenged the existence of an “official” or “international” border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Taliban’s Ministry of Frontier Affairs released a video where Noori dismissed the Durand Line, which traditionally separates the two nations, as a mere “hypothetical line.”

The video showcased Noori alongside Khalilur Rehman Haqqani, the Taliban’s Minister of Refugees and Returnees, during a visit to the Torkham crossing. Noori emphasized the absence of a recognized “official border” between the countries, citing the Durand Line as a historical source of occasional disputes between the Taliban and Pakistan.

These assertions have the potential to escalate tensions between Pakistan and the Taliban. While Pakistan’s government upholds the Durand Line as an international boundary, this stance has often been contested by Kabul administrations, which perceive it as a “de facto line.”

Historically, residents on both sides of the border freely crossed using Pakistani identity cards. However, Pakistan’s recent policy shift, coupled with plans to deport Afghan immigrants, now requires visas and passports for crossing. This change has triggered significant protests in Pakistan’s Chaman region, Balochistan. The situation remains fluid as the geopolitical dynamics continue to evolve.

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