Taliban terrorists on Wednesday claimed that they have successfully gained control over an important trade route linking Pakistan with southern Afghanistan. The Afghan forces had allegedly surrendered the critical transit point in Kandahar province situated next to the Durand Line border with Pakistan, the Chaman-Spin Boldak border crossing.
While no Afghan official has commented over the development, Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesperson in a statement said, “The Mujahideen have captured an important border town called Wesh in Kandahar.”
“With this, the important road between (Spin) Boldak and Chaman and Kandahar customs have come under Mujahideen control,” he added. Pakistani security forces have confirmed the Taliban had taken control of the crossing. They said that the Taliban has taken control of the Afghan side of the Chaman-Spin Boldak border crossing. The Taliban fighters raised their own flag and removed the Afghan flag at the border crossing.
The Chaman border crossing is one of the major international border crossings between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and it is the second most important crossing between the two nations. The crossing links Kandahar with Pakistani ports, and around 900 trucks cross the border through the crossing every day.
After Talibani forces took over the border crossing, Pakistan closed it for the time. Pakistani authorities have also deployed a large number of border forces on its side of the crossing. The authorities in Pakistan said that they are in contact with the local leadership of the Taliban on resuming trade and movement of people through the crossings under the control of the group.
The Taliban has been strategically securing all the border check posts to fill their coffers with customs revenue barring its transfer to the Afghan government exchequer.
Shafiqullah Attai, the chairman of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment in the capital city of Kabul, informed that the Taliban in recent weeks has taken control of Islam Qala and Turghundi in Herat province, ShirKhan Bandar in Kunduz and Abu Naser Farahi border port in Farah province.
Taliban seizes crossing point with Iran
As per a Firstpost report, the Taliban last week had seized yet another key Afghan border crossing with Iran. Taliban took control of the Islam Qala crossing point in western Herat province. As per Iranian media reports, the Afghan soldiers in the border area of Islam Qala- a major transit route between Afghanistan and Iran, fled from their positions, crossing into Iran for refuge.
It was the third border crossing the insurgents have taken in the past week, after previously seizing crossings with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and several hundred from Afghan forces fleeing across the border into Tajikistan.
Reportedly, the consulates of Turkey and Russia have reportedly closed the capital of northern Balkh province Mazar-e-Sharif.
The Taliban now has gained control of roughly a third of all 421 districts and district centers in Afghanistan.
Afghan VP accuses Pakistan of guiding Taliban terrorists
Afghanistan Vice President Amrullah Saleh has accused the special unit of the Pakistani army of guiding the Taliban terrorists. As per reports, in a Facebook post, Saleh said that the Taliban is divided into three sections, one of which is guided by Pakistan’s special anti-terrorist cells.
He further accused Pakistan of openly supporting the Taliban. Salah, on Tuesday, took to Twitter to share a video clip by Pakistani lawmaker Mohsin Dawar where he was calling out his own country’s support to the Taliban.
Dawar was speaking in Pakistan’s National Assembly on Monday when he said that the Taliban are exported to Afghanistan from Pakistan. “Dead bodies of Taliban fighters are brought back to Pakistan for burial. Taliban continue being supported openly,” he said.
China using US’s exit to expand
We reported earlier this month the plausibility of China using the void created by US troops to further its expansion and initiatives.
The Chinese authorities are reportedly in talks with officials in Kabul to persuade them to officially join the ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). According to the Daily Beast, the Communist regime in China is planning to build a motorway connecting Kabul and Peshawar. If the project is to materialize, it will mark Afghanistan’s official joining of $62 billion CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor).
China has been trying to include Afghanistan in BRI for the past 5 years but has failed due to US interference. Given that the US forces are heading back home, it has provided a fertile ground for the Chinese government to take the deal to fruition.