DERA ISMAIL KHAN (Web Desk) – Afghan authorities sealed the Angoor Adda border crossing in South Waziristan hours after it was handed over to them by Pakistan to settle a long-standing territorial dispute between both countries, Pakistani media reported on Tuesday.
Sources said that Afghanistan also claimed an additional 10 km area inside Pakistan as its own territory and demanded immediate handover of its control.
After closure of the border crossing, thousands of commuters were left stranded in the blazing sun along with hundreds of trucks loaded with goods.
“We have taken over the control of Bab-i-Waziristan post [Angoor Adda border crossing] where the Afghan flag has been hoisted to herald the development,” an Afghan diplomat deputed at the post said.
“However, the border has been closed till further orders from Kabul. Right now no one has been allowed from our side for any entry or exit. Afghan forces now guard the crossing round-the-clock,” he said.
The diplomat kept mum when asked why the crossing has been closed shortly after its control was handed over by Pakistan, saying that he was not ranked high enough to respond to the query.
“The decision to keep the gate closed has come from Kabul and we are following it till further orders” he said.
The disputed Angoor Adda border crossing was handed over to Afghan authorities on Saturday.
The Inter-Services Public Relations said the move was a means of improving a “border management”.
“On both sides of the border, most people belong to the Ahmedzai Wazir tribe,” said a tribal elder.
“We came to know through our contacts in Afghanistan that they [Afghan forces] have told their people that they would not open the border until they get the control of the area inside Pakistan.”
The controversial territory, Angoor Adda, 35km off Wana, the administrative capital of South Waziristan, has been under dispute by the two countries for the last 50 years.
Exchange of fire between the sides last year killed an Afghan policeman and left two Pakistani soldiers injured.
Pakistan and Afghanistan share a vital border and observers believe terrorism in both the countries can be tackled by enhancing border security and monitoring.
The recent accord between the two sides was hailed as a respite to a large number of people on both sides but the closure has marred the peaceful resolution of matter.