Six soldiers of Pakistan Army and five civilians were injured during an exchange of fire between the security forces at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border on Tuesday.

According to the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Afghan security forces targeted the civilian population in Chitral’s Arundu village with mortars and heavy machine fire from Nari district in the Kunar province.

“Pakistan’s troops responded effectively and targeted the Afghan border posts in Kandi and Dilbar from where the fire was being initiated,” said the ISPR in a statement.

As a result, “substantial damage” was dealt to the Afghan border posts. The exchange of fire was stopped “after engagement at the military level”.

The shooting lasted over three hours.

The Afghan security forces often target the Pakistani security posts and civilian population without provocation.

In late September, a major and a sepoy of the Pakistan Army were martyred in an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Mohmand tribal district.

Earlier that month, four soldiers of the Pakistan Army were martyred and another injured in two separate incidents of firing by militants near the Afghan border.

Following the attacks, the Foreign Office had summoned the Afghan Charge d’ Affairs to lodge a formal protest against the firing incidents.

On April 14, two Pakistani soldiers were also killed in cross-border fire from Afghanistan while working on a fence intended to cover nearly all of the disputed 2,500km border separating the countries.

The fencing is an endeavor by the security forces to discourage the entry of militants and smugglers into Pakistan from Afghanistan.

Pakistan has already fenced an over 900-kilometre-long portion of the Afghan border in an attempt to prevent movement of miscreants and terrorists between the two countries.

Interior Minister Brigadier (R) Ijaz Ahmad Shah recently said that fencing on the Pak-Afghan border in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had been completed, while 20 percent work was pending in Balochistan which will stop smuggling.

The total planned Pak-Afghan border is 2,611km and is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.

Owing to the effective physical and technical surveillance of the border, the government believes that the illegal border crossing would be made impossible once the border fencing completes. However, there is a lack of cooperation from the Afghan authorities.

October 30, 2019

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