ISLAMABAD: In the wake of recent cross-border attacks, Pakistan has called out Kabul to secure the region surrounding the Pak-Afghan border and take action against the elements engaged in terrorism.
“Pakistan requests the sovereign Government of Afghanistan to secure Pak- Afghan Border region and take stern actions against the individuals involved in terrorist activities in Pakistan, in the interest of peace and progress of the two brotherly countries,” read a statement issued by the Foreign Office in the said regard.
The FO condemned that Pakistani security forces are being targeted from across the border.
FO Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar stated that the terrorist attacks along the Pak-Afghan border have significantly increased in the last few days.
“Terrorists are using Afghan soil with impunity to carry out activities inside Pakistan,” Iftikhar said.
He maintained that Pakistan has frequently requested the Afghan government in the last few months to take notice of the attacks in the interest of peace and progress of the two brotherly countries.
The spokesperson further stated that Pakistan and Afghanistan have been engaged for the past several months through institutional channels for effective coordination and security along their long shared border.
“Unfortunately, elements of banned terrorist groups in the border region, including TTP, have continued to attack Pakistan’s border security posts, resulting into martyrdom of several Pakistani troops,” said Asim Iftikhar.
On 14 April 2022 as well, seven Pakistan Army soldiers were martyred in North Waziristan District by terrorists operating from Afghanistan, he added.
The spokesperson, once again, strongly condemned terrorists operating with impunity from Afghan soil to carry out activities in Pakistan.
He maintained that this is detrimental to their efforts of maintaining peace and stability along the Pak-Afghan border.
Reaffirming respect for Afghanistan’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, the spokesperson said Islamabad will continue to work closely with the Afghan government to strengthen bilateral relations in all fields.
FO looking into reports of ‘action’ by Pakistan in Afghanistan
The Foreign Office on Saturday said it was “looking into” reports of alleged action by Pakistani forces in the eastern Afghan provinces of Kunar and Khost.
The FO’s response was to claims made by an Afghan government official and a resident in Kunar province that Pakistani forces fired rockets early Saturday, leaving six people dead, The News reported.
“Five children and a woman were killed and a man wounded,” provincial director of information Najibullah Hassan Abdaal alleged. Ehsanullah, a resident of Shelton district where the alleged attack reportedly took place, said it was carried out by Pakistani military aircraft. Ehsanullah goes by one name as many Afghans do.
Another Afghan government official had alleged that a pre-dawn bombardment was carried out in Afghanistan’s Khost province near the border with Pakistan. The official, on condition of anonymity, alleged that “Pakistani helicopters bombarded four villages” in Khost, adding that “there were casualties”. An Afghan tribal elder from Khost, Gul Markhan, had also spoke to the AFP regarding the incident in Khost.
Also Saturday, an Afghan Foreign Ministry statement said Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi and Deputy Defence Minister Mullah Shirin Akhund met with the Pakistani ambassador and condemned the recent attacks on Khost and Kunar provinces, stressing prevention of such acts. “Minister Muttaqi said all military violations, including that in Khost and Kunar must be prevented as such acts deteriorate relations between the two countries, allowing antagonists to misuse the situation leading to undesired consequences,” the statement said.
It added the Pakistani envoy was given a strong demarche. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid also condemned the alleged attacks. “IEA (Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan) calls on the Pakistani side not to test the patience of Afghans on such issues.” He added: “Problems between the two countries must be resolved through political means.”
MNA Mohsin Dawar had also raised the issue in Saturday’s National Assembly session, terming the reported incident as a “highly tragic one”. He had claimed that the alleged victims were internally displaced persons from North Waziristan who had crossed into Afghanistan before the start of Zarb-i-Azab.
On Friday, the Pakistan Army had said terrorists ambushed a military convoy near the Pak-Afghan border in the general area of Isham, North Waziristan District, martyring seven Pakistani security men. “Own troops initiated a prompt response, effectively engaged and killed four terrorists. However, during an intense exchange of fire, seven soldiers embraced Shahadat,” the ISPR had said. Pakistan has long been saying that the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan has been using Afghan soil for attacks on Pakistani border posts.
Additional input by AFP