Kabul [Afghanistan], August 1 (ANI): Wakhan Corridor, a narrow strip in the strategic region of Afghanistan's north extending to China and separating Badakhshan and Chuparson valley (Gilgit-Baltistan) has been captured by the Taliban.
On July 27, a group of armed Taliban attacked Pakistan's Wakhan Corridor border post near Karambar lake and captured the area, reported local media.
Afghani social media circles were abuzz with a video showing the Taliban forces destroying a pillar having Pakistani signs. They were possessing AK 47s and were chanting slogans of "Long live Taliban."
As per the Taliban, Pakistan took advantage of the Afghan crisis in 2021 and had installed a pillar into Afghan territory in the Wakhan region near Badakhshan. The pillar was thus broken by Taliban, reported local media.
Meanwhile, the locals criticized the GB scouts and Pakistan Army for their inability to defend their territory.
The locals categorically mocked Pakistan and commented that "We cannot expect Pakistan to defend Gilgit-Baltistan, which itself has sold its land to China," reported local media.
With the capture of the Wakhan Corridor, the Taliban has shattered Pakistan's hopes to reach Central Asia. Pakistan has always wanted a road bridge across the Wakhan Corridor to get access to Central Asia bypassing Afghanistan.
But the Taliban, who have a not-too-friendly relationship with Islamabad currently, have rejected the idea. The issue of Durand Line is a case in point.
The primary issue of contention is the ongoing efforts of Pakistan to construct fencing on the Durand Line that separates the two nations. The Durand Line is not a mutually recognized border and Afghanistan has historically refused to acknowledge its validity, primarily because the Pashtun tribe that makes up the ruling majority of Afghanistan has historically lived and travelled on both sides of the border.
Afghanistan has also consistently objected to this fencing work as a unilateral attempt to create a hard border. In the past few months, a number of contentious incidents occurred including the capture of a Pakistani soldier across the border who was suspected of involvement in narcotics smuggling, and a Pakistan Army Helicopter carrying a senior officer coming under fire. Negotiations between the two sides over these issues have been fraught and there is no sign of a thaw in relations.
Notably, the video raises concern over the future of the narrow corridor which is located on the cusp of six nations comprising of China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan with Afghanistan at the very heart of Asia.
With growing Chinese concerns over radicalization among Uyghurs in its western region and the rise of Taliban in its neighbourhood, the visuals of Taliban forces capturing the Wakhan Corridor raises questions about the future of the narrow corridor.
The latest changes in geopolitics will have perhaps an unexpected consequence, with China's Belt and Road Initiative turning it into an important trade route once again.
Beijing has been actively conducting security and diplomatic operations in and around the Wakhan Corridor for well over a decade. Those who know the territory insist that Chinese security personnel have been seen frequently there since the late 2000s, sometimes with Afghan troops in tow.
In the late 19th Century, the Wakhan Corridor played a key role in the so-called "Great Game" between Great Britain and Russia.
The Wakhan's current boundaries were formed in 1893 to create a buffer zone to prevent both parties' territories from touching each other - in this case, the British Raj and the Tsarist Russian empire. (ANI)