Tribal gathering held to ease border tensions between Taliban, Pakistan

A tribal consultative gathering was held to ease tensions between Taliban and Pakistani forces as clashes along the border continued for a sixth consecutive day, sources told Amu.

The gathering, convened in the Kurram area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, was attended by tribal elders from both sides of the Durand Line, as well as Taliban and Pakistani forces, according to sources.

Tribal elders from both sides of the border called on the Taliban and the Pakistani military to halt the clashes, which have been ongoing for six days along the Zazai Aryob district of the Paktia border.

The clashes have forced residents of Kangina, Kharakai, and Andar villages in Dand-e Patan to flee their homes. Pakistani media also reported on the gathering.

“Civilians have been affected by the intensity of the conflict. We are not in favor of war, and this conflict must be stopped as soon as possible,” a participant of the gathering said.

“The intensity of the clashes increased last night, and both sides used heavy weapons. The tribal meeting in Kurram aimed to broker a ceasefire between the Pakistani army and Taliban forces and will continue for two days,” said Tahir Khan, a Pakistani journalist.

The ongoing battles have caused the Kharlachi crossing to remain closed. Since the clashes began, five residents in Paktia and three Taliban members have been killed. Further details about the casualties have yet to be disclosed.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Zahra Baloch stated in a press conference that the country’s army is standing firm against threats and will defend Pakistan’s territorial integrity. Baloch expressed Pakistan’s deepest concerns about the situation and called on the Taliban to ensure that Afghan soil is not used to threaten Pakistan’s security. She emphasized the need for effective measures against terrorist groups that continue to threaten Pakistan.

The Taliban has not yet commented on the matter but has consistently emphasized that Afghan soil will not be used against any country. Analysts believe regional countries should engage in joint operations against terrorist groups.

“Pakistan has been supporting extremist groups for years, and now Afghanistan also provides a safe haven for extremist groups. It is necessary for regional countries to cooperate in fighting these groups,” said Mohammad Radmanesh, a military analyst.

The Taliban has repeatedly denied supporting the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and has condemned Pakistani military attacks targeting TTP members in the border areas.