Taliban Confirms Conditional Reopening of Pakistan-Afghan Key Trade Route

    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

    The Facts

    • A Taliban official announced on Friday that the Torkham crossing, a key Afghanistan-Pakistan trade route closed over the last five days, has been conditionally reopened after Kabul and Islamabad agreed that they will only allow their citizens to cross the border.

    • This latest development came a day after the border was thrown into confusion following the circulation of incomplete reports on its reopening on social media. While Afghan officials indeed reopened their side of the border, Pakistani authorities insisted they would follow suit after a formal meeting to remove the misunderstandings.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    The worsening of the TTP insurgency in Pakistan is a direct result of the Taliban's takeover of neighboring Afghanistan. Though the Taliban may claim that it can be trusted to secure the border and strengthen the security situation in Afghanistan, it's a direct ally of the TTP and is likely supporting its attacks in Pakistan. The TTP, which has long taken refuge in Afghanistan, has benefited from the Taliban's return to Kabul, as it can now freely launch terror attacks into Pakistan.

    Narrative B

    Restraint is necessary on both sides of the border for an effective and just solution to this dispute. Both Afghanistan and Pakistan benefit from cross-border trade, and closing the border helps no one. The Taliban should take a stronger stand against the TTP, but Pakistan must also allow sick Afghans to cross the border. Neighbors should work together toward mutual benefits.

    Nerd narrative

    There's an 86% chance that Pakistan will recognize the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan before 2030, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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