The insurgent group controls the southeastern Spin Boldak border crossing with Pakistan that plays a significant role in Afghanistan’s imports.

Hundreds of trucks carrying medicines and other essential supplies from Pakistan go through the Chaman - Spin Boldak crossing every day.
Hundreds of trucks carrying medicines and other essential supplies from Pakistan go through the Chaman - Spin Boldak crossing every day. (AP Archive)

The Taliban insurgent group has closed a key border crossing with Pakistan, saying no one would be allowed through until Islamabad dropped or relaxed its visa requirements for Afghans.

The Taliban last month captured the southeast Chaman-Spin Boldak border crossing from Afghan forces.

Pakistan initially closed its side of the crossing, landlocked Afghanistan's second busiest entry point and main commercial artery to the sea, before reopening it last week.

But since the Taliban took control of Chaman-Spin Boldak, Pakistani border officials there have begun enforcing visa requirements for Afghans, which previously were not as strictly observed.

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In a statement on Friday, Taliban called on Pakistan to scrap all visa requirements for Afghans.

"(The crossing) will remain closed for all types of commuting, including transit and trade, for both sides, and pedestrians, until the Pakistani side leaves the gate open, morning to evening, for Afghans holding [Pakistani issued] migration cards or ID cards," the insurgent group's shadow governor for Kandahar province said.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the group's leadership had endorsed the move, and on Friday the border had been closed.

Ensuring it is open for visa-free travel would curry favour with ordinary Afghans for the Taliban. 

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Afghan government data indicates the route was used by 900 trucks a day before the Taliban seized it.

The closure could impact import of medicines and other essential goods.

Pakistani border officials at Chaman said the Taliban had placed concrete barriers to block the road.

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Source: Reuters