Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti said the US and Nato forces were involved in an attack on a security checkpoint in Upper Dir that killed 28 security personnel.
The chief minister was addressing a grand Jirga held at the District Headquarters of Upper Dir on Wednesday. Hoti said that the US and Nato forces have a large base and several checkpoints near the border at Kunar, the northeastern Afghan province.
“How can hundreds of militants easily cross the Pak-Afghan border without the consent and guidance of Nato and US forces?” Hoti said.
More than 1,000 militants crossed the Pak-Afghan border on June 1 and launched an attack on police and Levies’ check posts at the Shaltalo area of Upper Dir, resulting in the death of 28 police and levies personnel, five civilians and four others being injured. Seven schools and one mosque were also destroyed by the militants in the area, the minister said.
The K-P chief minister also held the Afghan government responsible for the incident. “It’s a complete failure on part of the Afghan government who could not prevent the militants from building sanctuaries in Kunar and Nuristan provinces where anti-Pakistan insurgents are receiving training. So we have the right to ask the Afghan government how these people were trained in Afghanistan and how they crossed the border despite the presence of government forces,” said Hoti.
The Jirga also discussed the formation of a local lashkar (volunteer armed group) in both districts of Lower Dir and Upper Dir for maintaining law and order.
Hoti assured the tribal elders regarding strict security arrangements for the Pakistan-Afghanistan border at Barwal and said the provincial government has asked the federal government to return the Frontier Corps (FC) personnel deployed in Islamabad and Karachi.
“We have decided to deploy FC personnel on the Kunar border to stop any aggression and ambush from Afghanistan,” Hoti said.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 9th, 2011.
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