KABUL/QUETTA – The Taliban blocked a key border with Pakistan on Friday, demanding that Pakistan abolish or relax visa restrictions for Afghans.

“No one will be let in until Islamabad removed or eased its visa restrictions for Afghans,” they added.

Last month, the Taliban, who are wresting control of Afghanistan from Afghan forces following the withdrawal of US and other international soldiers, took the southeast Chaman-Spin Boldak border crossing.
Last Monday, Pakistan reopened its side of the bridge, which is landlocked Afghanistan’s second busiest entry port and key commercial conduit to the sea.

However, after the Taliban seized control of Chaman-Spin Boldak, Pakistani border officials have began aggressively enforcing visa requirements for Afghans, which were previously ignored.

The Taliban demanded that Pakistan remove all visa rules for Afghans in a statement released on Friday.

In a statement, the insurgent group’s shadow governor for Kandahar province said, “(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.”