Pakistani Delegation Meets Taliban Officials in Kandahar; Both Sides Pledge to Resolve Border Conflict Through Dialogue

The latest: After recent border clashes between the Taliban and Pakistani border guards at the Spin Boldak-Chaman border crossing, a Pakistani delegation of religious scholars, tribal elders and businessmen visited Kandahar and met with the Taliban to discuss resolving border problems.

Go deeper:

  • Haji Zaid, spokesman for the Taliban governor for Kandahar province, said on Tuesday, that the two sides had discussed border problems between the two countries and recent violence in the Spin Boldak-Chaman border area.
  • The spokesman added that the meeting between the Pakistani delegation and local Taliban officials was held in Spin Boldak district of the province and that religious scholars, tribal elders and Pakistani traders stressed on preventing cross-border violence and clashes between the two sides in the future.
  • The Taliban delegation stressed on resolving border problems between Afghanistan and Pakistan through dialogue and peacefully, the statement said. The group’s officials have also stressed that their forces have defended their territory against attacks by Pakistani border guards in the past weeks.
  • According to the statement, the Pakistani side also sought to avoid border tensions and resolve the conflict through dialogue.

Why it matters? After the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August 2021, the Taliban and Pakistani border guards have clashed several times in the Spin Boldak-Chaman border area, and both sides have always blamed each other for the conflict.

  • Spin Boldak-Chaman is the second largest border crossing between Afghanistan and Pakistan, with much of the traffic and trade between the two neighboring countries.

Zoom out: Over the past two weeks, the Taliban and Pakistani border guards clashed twice, which also resulted in casualties.

  • In the latest case, the Taliban and Pakistani military clashed on December 15 in the Spin Boldak-Chaman border area, where the two sides used light and heavy weapons. A day later, Pakistan summoned a senior Taliban diplomat over repeated border clashes between the two countries, which killed at least six people and wounded more than 10.
  • The fighting at the Spin Boldak-Chaman crossing started last week after the Taliban tried to establish a new security outpost in the border area.
  • Of late relations between Taliban and Pakistan have been hitting roadblocks one after another. Taliban used to also hold talks between the Pakistan Taliban and Pakistani government in order to facilitate peace, however, the ceasefire forged too has been disturbed. Islamabad also has said that Taliban rulers are sheltering fighters from the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) armed group, which carries out deadly attacks on its soil.
  • Trade also had been affected due to cross-border skirmishes between both the countries due to frequent commercial blockages and many people too have been left stranded who intend to cross the border between the two countries.
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