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Afghan officials chided for attending Torkham ceremony

19 Sep 2019 - 14:22
19 Sep 2019 - 14:22

JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Some social media activists have objected to the participation of Afghan officials in the 24/7 opening of Torkham border crossing by Pakistan.

Transport Minister Yama Yari and Nangarhar Governor Shah Mahmood Miakhel were among high ranking Afghan officials who participated in the inauguration ceremony on the Pakistani side of the Durand Line on Wednesday.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated the 24/7 service at Torkham crossing, saying the move will promote trade ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan and Central Asian nations.

The word “border” on the post’s inauguration board irked many Afghans who don’t acknowledge the Durand Line as a formal border and according to them, the presence of high-ranking government officials provided legitimacy to the move.

Zabihullah Ghazni, a reporter with Voice of America who participated in the event, wrote on his Facebook page that he regretted participating in the gathering because he had always raised voice for Lar aw Bar Afghan.

Arshan Raghan, another social media activist, wrote that neither Durand Line nor Torkham was a border.

Some government officials also condemned the move and termed it non-forgivable.

Khost Governor Halim Fidai said Torkham was not a border but a crossing and asked the Nangarhar provincial administration to establish another sign board on this part of the Durand Line and write the word “Durand Crossing”.

Another social media activist Hikmat Hassan wrote that Torkham was dubbed as a border when Pakistan was not born. “This is our claim but the ground reality is different, Pakistani security forces check people, demand passport and search private data on mobile and computer.”

“Whatever you call Torkham a crossing point, border or zero point, but the reality is that currently all the systems a border needs are implemented there.”

Nangarhar Governor Shah Mahmood Miakhel offered clarification, saying his participation in the inauguration ceremony at Torkham did not mean recognition of Durand Line but it meant facilitating common people.

He said the Afghan government position on Durand Line was clear — not to recognize the Durand Line as border.

nh/ma

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