Pakistan summons Afghan envoy to condemn cross-border shelling

Pakistan on Friday summoned Afghanistan’s chargé d’affaires in Islamabad and “strongly condemned” the recent unprovoked cross-border shelling by its border security forces.

“Pakistan’s strong condemnation over recent incidents of unprovoked cross-border shelling by Afghan Border Security Forces in the Chaman-Spin Boldak area, resulting in loss of life, injuries and damage to property, was conveyed,” said Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch in a statement.

Islamabad reiterated to the Afghan side that the protection of civilians remained the responsibility of both countries and that the recurrence of these incidents must be prevented.

“It was agreed to use established institutional mechanisms in this regard. Pakistan remains committed to maintaining fraternal relations with Afghanistan. Peace along the Pak-Afghan border is intrinsic to this end,” said the spokesperson.

Normalcy returns to Chaman border
A day after clashes, the Pakistan-Afghanistan border at Chaman was operating routinely amid a high-security alert, security officials told Geo News Friday, adding that a ceasefire is in place with border crossing open at the Friendship Gate.

On Thursday, one person was killed and 15 people were injured when Afghan border forces opened indiscriminate fire on a civilian area on the Pakistani side after which security forces responded befittingly, Levies and hospital officials had shared.

According to local administration, the border area was evacuated after clashes and an emergency was declared in DHQ Chaman.

Levies officials reported that multiple artillery rounds were fired upon the civilian population around the Boghra Road and Custom House areas from the Afghan side. They added that the Pakistani forces have given a befitting response to Afghan shelling.

Authorities had said that the clashes broke out over the intervention of Afghan forces during the repair of the fence in the Sheikh Lal Muhammad sector of the border.

Afghanistan apologises
This was the second time within a week that the Afghan border forces opened unprovoked and indiscriminate fire, using heavy weapons, at the civilian area in Balochistan’s Chaman city.

The border was reopened after Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said that the neighbouring country apologised for the incident.

During the previous attack, six people were martyred and 17 others were injured, a statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

According to the military’s media wing, the Afghan border forces had used artillery and mortar in the attack.

The ISPR said that Pakistan’s troops at the border gave a befitting albeit measured response against the uncalled-for aggression, but avoided targeting innocent civilians in the area.

On December 2, Pakistan’s Head of Mission to Kabul Ubaid-ur-Rehman Nizamani escaped an assassination bid.

In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said the embassy’s compound in Kabul came under attack targeting the head of mission, but “by the grace of Allah Almighty, the head of mission is safe”.

However, a Pakistani security guard Sepoy Israr Mohammad had been critically injured in the attack while protecting Nizamani, the Foreign Office said.

December 16, 2022


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