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Taliban forces, Pakistani soldiers exchange gunfire near Kunar province

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Kabul | August 8, 2022 6:56:44 PM IST
In yet another incident of a border clash at the disputed Durand line, Taliban-led forces and Pakistani soldiers exchanged gunfire in the Dangam district in Afghanistan's Kunar province.

Afghanistan's TOLO news reported that clashes took place on Sunday and continued until 10 pm. Both sides used light as well as heavy weapons.

Taliban official Najibullah Hanif said that the attempt by Pakistani soldiers to build military facilities on the side of the Durand Line is what sparked the clashes.,

After the clash, Pakistani forces fired mortar shells in the Dangam area. Hanif said that both sides are now trying to resolve the issue.

The ties between Taliban-led Afghanistan and Pakistan have been frosty of late and matters have been exacerbated by recent border tensions. Last month, a number of videos emerged from border standoff in Balochistan and Nimroz provinces of the two countries.

Earlier, the Taliban-appointed Defence Minister said that Afghanistan will not allow any other country to act aggressively against its interests.

The refusal to accept the status of the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan by the Taliban regime has clearly shown the cracks in the relationship between the two countries.

During his visit to the Durand Line in Paktia province, Mawalwi Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid said the Taliban wants good ties with all neighbouring countries and expects the same from them.

Regional analysts believe that Pakistan has committed a strategic blunder in thinking that the Taliban, which the country helped in fighting a US-backed Afghanistan for over two decades, will fulfil Islamabad's wishes.

The Taliban have so far not shown any signs of acceding to these wishes. Rather, on several occasions, they have rejected Pakistan's demands, including the one to recognise the Durand Line.

'Borders' that have remained porous for centuries have suddenly been shut down, dividing clans and families, according to Toronto-based think tank International Forum For Rights And Security (IFFRAS).

"The enormous harms that have been suffered by the Pashtun community have engendered a deep distrust of the Pakistani state in the minds of Pashtuns on either side of the Durand Line," IFFRAS said. (ANI)

 
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