PM asks Afghan govt to ensure firing incidents won't be repeated

Pakistan demands Kabul to take strictest action over Chaman firing: Foreign Office condemns targeting of civilians by Afghan border forces: Both sides in contact to avoid escalation

By: News Desk
Published: 09:01 AM, 12 Dec, 2022
PM asks Afghan govt to ensure firing incidents won't be repeated
Caption: Residents protest after Afghan forces fired mortars at Pakistan's border town of Chaman.–AFP
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Condemning the unprovoked shelling and fire by Afghan Border Forces in Chaman which resulted in the martyrdom of 6 Pakistani citizens and injuring several others, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif termed the incident ‘unfortunate’ while calling upon the Afghan interim government to ensure that such incidents are not repeated, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Taking to his Twitter handle, Prime Minister Shehbaz wrote: “Unprovoked shelling & fire by Afghan Border Forces at Chaman resulting in martyrdom of several Pakistani citizens & injuring more than a dozen is unfortunate & deserves the strongest condemnation. The Afghan Interim government should ensure that such incidents are not repeated.” 

The Pakistan Foreign Office too condemned the incident.

In a statement issue in Islamabad, the Foreign Office said such unfortunate incidents are not in keeping with the brotherly ties between the two countries. The Afghan authorities have been informed that recurrence of such incidents must be avoided and strictest possible action must be taken against those responsible, the FO added.

It further said it remained the responsibility of both sides to protect civilians along the border. The concerned authorities of both countries remain in contact to ensure that there is no further escalation of the situation and recurrence of such incidents is avoided.

On Sunday, Afghan Taliban attacked a residential area at the Pak-Afghan Chaman border which killed six people and left 17 injured.

Pakistan Army’s media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relation (ISPR) had confirmed in its statement that Afghan Border Forces opened unprovoked and indiscriminate firing by heavy weapons including artillery and mortar onto the Civilian population in Chaman.

"A mortar shell landed and caused a huge fireball. After that I lost consciousness and don't know what happened," said Fida Muhammad, who was wounded on the Pakistani side of the crossing and taken to hospital.

The ISPR said due to the indiscriminate firing six civilians were martyred and 17 injured. The ISPR said Pakistani border troops had given a befitting and measured response against the uncalled-for aggression, but avoided targeting innocent civilians in the area.

The ISPR further stated that Pakistan has also approached Afghan authorities at Kabul to highlight the severity of the situation and demanded strict action to obviate any such recurrence of the incident in the future.

AFP reported that the clash happened after Afghan forces tried to cut part of the fence on the border, according to a senior Balochistan government official who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity.

There was no immediate comment from the Taliban administration in Kabul.

Thousands cross the border between Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, and Chaman, Pakistan, every day, including traders, Afghans seeking medical treatment in Pakistan, and people visiting relatives.

Last month, a gunman shot dead a Pakistan security guard at the Chaman border crossing, leading to its closure for a week.

Since the Taliban returned to power last year, border tensions between the neighbours have risen, with Pakistan alleging militant groups were planning attacks from Afghan soil.

The Taliban deny harbouring Pakistani militants, but are also infuriated by a fence Islamabad is putting up along the 2,700-kilometre border between the two countries.

Categories : South Asia