Chaman border closed amid reports of Taliban capturing crossing on Afghan side

Published July 14, 2021
This file photo show the Friendship Gate on the Pakistan-Afghan border. — Dawn
This file photo show the Friendship Gate on the Pakistan-Afghan border. — Dawn

The Taliban on Wednesday claimed they had captured the strategic border crossing of Spin Boldak along the frontier with Pakistan, continuing sweeping gains made since foreign forces stepped up their withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“The Mujahideen have captured an important border town called Wesh in Kandahar,” said Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesperson in a statement.

“With this, the important road between (Spin) Boldak and Chaman and Kandahar customs have come under Mujahideen control,” he said. Mujahid assured traders and residents there that their “security is guaranteed”.

However, the Afghan interior ministry insisted the attack had been repelled and government forces had control.

Meanwhile, when contacted for a comment, Chaman Assistant Commissioner Arif Kakar told Dawn.com that security was on high alert. "The Friendship Gate at the Chaman border has been closed," he said. No comment has been made so far from Pakistan regarding the capturing of the crossing.

The situation on the ground could not immediately be verified, but according to AFP, social media was abuzz with pictures of Taliban fighters looking relaxed in what appeared to be the frontier town.

The taking of Spin Boldak would be the latest in a string of border crossings and dry ports seized by the Taliban in recent weeks.

Its seizure follows days of heavy fighting across Kandahar province, where the government was forced to deploy commando fighters to prevent the fall of the provincial capital even as the insurgents inched closer to taking the frontier crossing.

Afghan officials insisted they still had control.

“The terrorist Taliban had some movements near the border area [...] The security forces have repelled the attack,” interior ministry spokesman Tareq Arian told AFP.

Residents disputed the Afghan government's claims.

“I went to my shop this morning and saw that the Taliban are everywhere. They are in the bazaar, in police HQ and custom areas. I can also hear the sound of fighting nearby,” said Raz Mohammad, a shopkeeper who works near the border.

Opinion

Global governance
27 Oct 2021

Global governance

Wise countries design growth strategies as per their socioeconomic needs.
Too hot to handle
Updated 27 Oct 2021

Too hot to handle

Will Glasgow offer anything more than ‘blah blah blah’?
What a tangled web
Updated 26 Oct 2021

What a tangled web

So poorly kept is this secret about the opposition’s real hopes and no plans that even the government has figured it out.

Editorial

27 Oct 2021

Escalating prices

ONE question being asked by almost every Pakistani today is: for how long will we have to suffer food price ...
Another demolition
Updated 27 Oct 2021

Another demolition

THE closing act in the battle over the 15-storey Nasla Tower in Karachi has been set in motion. On Monday, the...
27 Oct 2021

A despicable custom

IT is a wonder that it took so long for the Federal Shariat Court to declare the practice of swara un-Islamic. To...
Perfect in every way
Updated 26 Oct 2021

Perfect in every way

GLORIOUS. Gratifying. Liberating. Pakistan’s thumping victory over India in their opening fixture of the T20 World...
26 Oct 2021

Balochistan CM’s exit

ON Sunday, Jam Kamal Khan Alyani’s name was added to the long list of chief ministers of Balochistan who ...
Minister’s odd logic
26 Oct 2021

Minister’s odd logic

THE government’s contradictions and confusion appear to have no end when it comes to dealing with the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan.