Taliban: No ‘formal border’ between Afghanistan, Pakistan

KABUL, Afghanistan — In a controversial statement, Noorullah Noori, Taliban Minister of Borders and Tribal Affairs, denied the existence of an “official” or “international” border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Taliban’s Ministry of Frontier Affairs released a video where Noori labeled the Durand Line, which separates the two nations, as a “hypothetical line.”

The video also showed Noori accompanied by Khalilur Rehman Haqqani, the Taliban’s Minister of Refugees and Returnees, visiting the Torkham crossing. Noori reiterated the absence of an “official border” between the countries, referring to the Durand Line as a source of occasional disputes between the Taliban and Pakistan.

These remarks could exacerbate existing tensions between Pakistan and the Taliban. Pakistan’s government recognizes the Durand Line as an international boundary, a stance often challenged by Kabul administrations, who view it as a “de facto line.”

Historically, residents on both sides of the border have crossed freely using Pakistani identity cards. However, Pakistan’s recent policy shift, coinciding with plans to deport Afghan immigrants, now mandates visas and passports for crossing. This change sparked significant protests in Pakistan’s Chaman region, Balochistan.