Pakistan Closes Chaman Border Crossing

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Context

Pakistan on Thursday closed a border crossing with Afghanistan. The Chaman border, used by NATO forces was sealed for “security reasons” after an explosion killed a bomb disposal expert as he attempted to defuse an explosive device attached to an oil tanker. Although attacks on Pakistani troops are not uncommon, the closing of the border is unusual. Officials believe the decision was in reaction to the recent rift in Pak-US relations.

Pakistan and US relations have deteriorated alarmingly after Washington sanctioned an operation in Pakistan’s territory without Islamabad’s approval which led to the killing of Osama bin Laden. Tensions have also escalated after comments by US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen who accused Pakistan’s intelligence agency of backing the Haqqani network.